Inskip and Hambleton couple Elsie and Jim celebrate platinum anniversary

As Jim and Elsie Clark's paths crossed many times, it was the sight of Elsie on stage that marked the start of a great love story.

Tuesday, 25th July 2017, 1:27 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:02 pm
Elsie and Jim Clark
Elsie and Jim Clark

The pair had first met at the junior school in Hambleton. Jim, now 93, left after just a year but they encountered each other as teenagers at Hodgson Academy.

Proving what was meant to be, after a six year absence, Jim finally plucked up the courage to ask Elsie to dance in 1945.

Jim, of Inskip, who ran Godson House Farm, in Catforth, said: “I met Elsie when she first started school at five. I left and went to another school and then I saw her again at Hodgson Senior School. We didn’t really speak to each other. After that I didn’t see her because of the Second World War.

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Jim and Elsie Clarke on their wedding day in 1947

“I was in the Home Guard for quite a while. I was on duty at night and then I worked on the farm during the day. I had to go 24 hours without any sleep once a week.

“After six or seven years I met her again at a dance in Hambleton. I was 21 and Elsie was 19. She had changed so much in those years. I had fancied her for quite a while. Then one night she got on the stage and sang a solo. I thought ‘this was it - I will see if I can take her home.’

“That’s how it started and we continued.”

Elsie, 91, said: “At the dance hall we recognised each other and recalled that we went to the same school.”

Jim and Elsie Clarke on their wedding day in 1947

The couple married in 1947 at Hambleton Parish Church and lived in Hambleton.

They moved to Inskip 23 years ago. They have three children, nine grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.

Elsie dedicated her time to bringing up their children and she also worked at Catteralls Farm in Ribchester.

Marking 70 years of marriage, they celebrated their platinum anniversary with a gathering of family and friends at their home.

Jim said: “You have to give and take and be sensible about it. Every couple has their differences but you have to give and take. I feel very lucky.”

As keen farmers, they shared a love in attending agricultural shows and even met Prince Charles.

Jim added: “We once saw Prince Charles in the cattle tent at one of the Cheshire Shows, which was exciting.”