Couple who met collecting The Sheffield Star celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

Childhood sweethearts who met whilst collecting The Sheffield Star newspaper for their fathers to sell in the city centre have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.Â

Friday, 28th December 2018, 7:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:48 am
Eric and Evelyn Colley have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary

Eric and Evelyn Colley marked the occasion at their home near Arbourthorne on Thursday, December 27, with a special celebratory cake made by a member of the family. 

Both born and bred in the city, the pair met as youngsters, at the former Sheffield Telegraph and The Star building in York Street, where they would pass each other as they both collected stacks of newspapers to take to their fathers in Fitzalan Square.

Eric could always be seen chewing spearmint gum '“ despite it being on rations '“ as it was readily available to him from his mothers newsagents.

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Eric and Evelyn Colley on their wedding day 70 years ago

So, keen for some gum, Evelyn's friends persuaded her to ask Eric for a piece, and after striking up a conversation a relationship quickly blossomed.

Towards the end of the Second World War, Eric, then age 17, decided to volunteer for the Royal Army Pay Corps instead of taking part in National Service, where he worked as as a pay clerk, and was responsible for paying soldiers wages.

It was here he stayed for over two years, stationed in the Far East while Evelyn became a '˜land girl' working with the Land Army in Devon.

They later married when Evelyn was 19, and Eric, 21, and had to get two buses to their ceremony at St John's Church near Park Hill on December 27, 1948.

Eric and Evelyn Colley with their daughters Gail and Enid

Living with Evelyn's aunt in Wybourn, they welcomed their first daughter Gail, before moving to their own home in Burngreave where Evelyn gave birth to their second daughter Enid and the family moved to Arbourthorne. 

The pair both worked for Sheffield Transport, as a tram driver and conductress, before Eric moved to the Steelworks, and later found work as a probation officer and became chairman of the Norfolk Park Tenants Association while Evelyn worked various jobs such as a cleaner and barmaid.

After retirement they enjoyed travelling the world visiting places such as North America and Malta and would visit friends regularly.

Now, with three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, they enjoy each others company at home and

still have The Sheffield Star delivered every day.

Eric, 91, a lifelong Sheffield United supporter, says the couple fall out, like any other relationship, but are always by each others side.

Evelyn, now 89, added: 'We keep one another going. We argue but always make up. We sort things out and keep going, but if the football is on he won't talk to me!'

Their daughter Enid, 62, said: 'They are both honest and open, and all the children and grandchildren are. I think that has been passed down.'