TELEVISION crews and photographers galore turned up for a wedding in Huddersfield.
But it was hardly surprising, given that it was the wedding of a 92-year-old bride and her ‘toyboy’ groom, aged 85.
“I didn’t expect all this fuss,” smiled blushing bride Margaret Dufty as she tied the knot with sweetheart John Hind.
“It’s strange that you have to wait until you’re 92 to become famous!”
Margaret and John married in a civil ceremony at the Old Golf House Hotel in Outlane yesterday in front of 50 guests.
The service was followed by a blessing next door at the tiny St Mary Magdalene Church.
The couple, who are both partially-sighted and have battled cancer, were transported to the church in his and hers wheelchairs, decorated with ‘just married’ signs and tin cans.
Wearing a grey-blue two-piece suit and hat, the bride was the centre of attention throughout.
“It’s been a lovely day,” she said.
After signing the register at the hotel, the couple were applauded as they left the ceremony arm in arm.
“Where’s the Buck’s Fizz?” asked Margaret as she made a beeline for the nearest waiter.
The couple, with a combined age of 177, have lived together for the last four years.
Both sergeants in the Army during the Second World War, the couple met through veterans’ charity Blind Veterans UK, formerly St Dunstan’s.
That was the start of a remarkable love story which captured the hearts of family and friends.
Margaret described John as a “lovely man” and added: “He is very kind and does what he is told.
“He’s a bit deaf so I have to shout but I love him very much.”
John, for his part, is smitten too.
“You might think she’s a bit stern but really she is a pussycat and I love her,” he said.
“She likes to think she’s in charge!”
The marriage vows of caring for each other ‘in sickness and in health’ have already struck a chord with Margaret and John.
John has been treated for lung cancer and earlier this year fell downstairs and broke his neck.
Then in August Margaret was diagnosed with bowel cancer and needed radiotherapy.
The couple, who live in Sheffield, have travelled extensively together but now plan a quieter married life.
Margaret said: “We take life easy now. We don’t do a lot these days.
“The highlight of our day is a whisky and lemonade on a night.”
The wedding was organised by John’s sons, former police officer Graeme, 55, of Outlane, and Gavin, 44, a sergeant major in the Yorkshire Regiment.
They were joint best men while Graeme’s son James, 23, gave Margaret away. Daughters Laura, 25, and Sarah, 20, were bridesmaids.
Margaret’s father died in 1946 and when she married for the first time her brother walked her down the aisle.
James, a teaching assistant, enjoyed the big day but admitted: “I think I was more nervous than she was.”
Graeme wore the Black Watch Kilt in honour of his late father-in-law Frank Collinson who served with the regiment during the war while Gavin wore military dress.
Graeme said the wedding had taken a great deal of organising but added: “It’s all been worth it.
“Given all their health problems it was a bit of a shotgun wedding – with a difference.”
“The only stipulation they had was that there was no disco and no flashing lights!”