A MARSDEN father-of-nine whose controversial wedding hit the headlines in the 1950s has died aged 74.
Frank Byram eloped to Gretna Green with his sweetheart, Mary Midwood, in June, 1958, after her parents refused him permission to marry their daughter.
Mary was just 17 at the time, nine years younger than Frank.
The couple claimed to be going on a day trip to Southport, but instead headed for the border town to take advantage of Scotland's less stringent marriage laws.
The police were called and the story featured in the Examiner and the National papers.
But Frank and Mary went on to prove the doubters wrong. They were happily married for 49 years, having nine children and 20 grandchildren.
Sadly, Frank didn't live to see his first great-grandchild, who is due in March.
He was born at Long Fall Farm in Marsden on February 22, 1932.
His first job was as a builder for Pearsons, helping to build houses on Dirker Drive.
He moved on to Bank Bottom Mill, then Black Rock Mill in Linthwaite.
It was there that he met his future wife.
Later Frank took up dry-stone walling, a skill he was to pass on to his five sons and grandson Lee.
He kept working long after many men retire, cycling into Marsden to sell eggs from his free-range hens and produce from his garden up until the age of 72. Customers knew him affectionately as the Egg Man.
He used the money raised to pay for coach holidays for his wife and himself in Scotland.
Frank was a man who always had a smile and time for all people, and also entertained friends and family with his yodelling.
He died suddenly on January 7 in his beloved garden.
More than 300 people attended his funeral at St Bartholomew's Church in Marsden eight days later.