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Golden celebration for Huddersfield couple who eloped in 1966 - and were reported missing in the Examiner!

Young love finds a way with less than £50 spent

They were young and in love and determined on a life together.

So Christine Kaye, 18, and Stuart Parker, 20, ignored their families’ wishes, packed their suitcases and fled Huddersfield to live in hiding in Scotland for three weeks until they were able to wed.

Now, half a century later, they have celebrated their golden wedding in style on board the luxury liner Britannia.

They renewed their vows in a moving ceremony conducted by the captain, Paul Brown.

It could not have been a more marked contrast to the day of their wedding, January 31, 1966.

They had spent three weeks living in a cramped bedsit flat in Edinburgh, after fleeing to the Scottish capital to wed in secret. People in England needed their parents’ consent to wed if they were under 21 but in Scotland it was 18.

Both families had opposed the wedding so the young couple packed their bags and left on a train.

Stuart and Christine Parker of Kaye Lane, Almondbury, celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary.

They had just £50 in a Post Office savings account - but managed to return home as Mr and Mrs Parker with 10 shillings left to their name.

The couple, of Kaye Lane, Almondbury, now have a daughter, Karen, and son, Dean, and grand-daughters Kerry and Katie.

Mrs Parker said: “The Examiner actually reported us missing in late January of 1966.

“We had met while both working for North Eastern Gas, me in the office and Stuart as an apprentice welder. We met in the May of 1965, got engaged in November and then married in January.

“My parents were not happy about it being so quick and neither were Stuart’s family but we made plans and set off. I packed my case and my mum thought I was going to stay at Stuart’s house but we got a train up to Edinburgh.

“We didn’t pick Gretna Green as other couples did as we thought it was too quiet and we would be easily found.

Stuart and Christine Parker of Kaye Lane, Almondbury, celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary.

“The first night in Edinburgh we stayed in a hotel but we had only £50 so needed to find a bedsit. We saw one which was really grotty and then a helpful taxi driver took pity on us and took us for free to see another, where we stayed for three weeks while the banns were read.

“We spent our time walking around Edinburgh. It’s lovely place and we saw so much, and people were ever so helpful.

“When it came to the wedding itself at the register office, I had no wedding dress, just my winter coat. We turned up without witnesses and were told we needed some, so we found a lovely young couple in the street looking in an estate agent’s window.

“It was a cold but dry day and it was lovely."

To mark their wedding, the couple had pictures taken - in a photo booth!

Stuart and Christine Parker of Kaye Lane, Almondbury, celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary.

Mrs Parker added: "We returned home, and I think our families were so relieved to see us that they forgave us.”

The couple lived in Honley and Holmfirth before moving to Almondbury.

Mrs Parker spent 32 years in the medical records office at St Luke’s Hospital while Stuart was a fabricator and welder at Longwood Engineering.

Mrs Parker said: “The renewal of the vows was lovely and there was a lovely surprise for me when our friends, Sylvia and Dougie Hirst turned up on board. Stuart had arranged it all with them”.



Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent