Penwortham residents throw street party to celebrate neighbour's diamond wedding anniversary
After 60 years of marriage, Ged and Gene Hothersall are having to move from their family home in Penwortham due to Ged's difficulty with Parkinsons Disease - but neighbours made sure to show them they would be missed.
When Ged and Gene met at St. Ignatius’ Dance Hall in Preston in 1958, the vibrant youths would never have guessed the number of dances they’d go on to share.
And yesterday, August 26, the two shared their diamond wedding anniversary after tying the knot in 1961 and moving into their current Penwortham home a year later.
But Ged, 82, and Gene, 79, are now having to move out of their beloved home, as Ged suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, meaning he struggles to get up and down the stairs.
Hearing the news, their neighbours gave them the outpouring of love by hosting a huge street party to celebrate their achievement and see them off, as they prepare to move to a purpose-built bungalow in Much Hoole.
Last Saturday, August 21, around 60 family members, friends, and well-wishers showed up at Spring Gardens for a feast of epic proportions, serving curry, paella, goulash, burgers, and a 12-inch cake.
The elderly couple fondly refers to the melting pot of neighbours around them as the “United Nations”, with wife Gene breaking down to tears when told about the send-off.
She said: “It’s absolutely wonderful that so many people are coming. We’ve got such fantastic neighbours and we’ll miss them a lot.
“Moving out is going to be a wrench as we’ve lived here for so long and this is where we’re used to, but in a way, I want to go into the bungalow, because it’ll be a lot easier for Ged.”
Ged used to collect money and raise awareness for Parkinson’s UK, joining a close-knit group of people afflicted with the disease who would meet every month, and he says that this support network was important to him.
While his age and condition have meant he’s had to swap his cherished cricket and cycling for becoming a master at completing puzzles, Ged retains a positive frame of mind and a great sense of humour.
The couple has three children, six grandchildren and one-great grandchild - 16-month-old Lottie.
Ged said: “I still get up and do as much as I can, even if I have to sit down after about ten minutes.
"You have to stay positive, otherwise it beats you."
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