Couple celebrates diamond wedding

Sheila and Ralph Banham.
Sheila and Ralph Banham.

YOUNG love has stood the test of time for one Thorpe Dales couple who celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary last Thursday.

Sheila, 81, and Ralph Banham, 83, met during their early twenties and caught each other’s eye after a service at the local Methodist chapel.

A cycle ride then confirmed the friendship and the couple shortly went on to marry in 1952 at Eastville Anglican Church, near Boston.

After the wedding, the pair enjoyed their honeymoon in Harrogate where Ralph’s sister lived.

As their love grew stronger, so did their family as the pair were blessed with three children in three years, Pauline (Polly), Jonathan and Yvonne and then a little while later, they were delighted with two more, Alison and David Ralph.

The family lived at Pillar Box Farm where Ralph worked on the land and milked the cows and Sheila worked at a restaurant in Lumley Road and a chemist in Roman Bank until later, looking after their growing family and helping on the farm.

Pillar Box Farm remained Sheila and Ralph’s home for 35 years until, Ralph’s mother and father died and they moved to well-known Rich Pastures farm of Wainfleet where the family still runs the business today.

The happy pair are now blessed with five grandchildren who are said to keep them both on their toes.

Today, Ralph enjoys working on the Rich Pastures farm with his family, distributing the milk and enjoying life and Sheila has spent 50 years with the WI and collecting for the Royal British Legion for over 30 years.

The couple enjoyed their big day with family at home last Thursday (March 29) and on Sunday (April 1) the whole family enjoyed a delicious meal at The Eaves pub in Little Steeping to celebrate.

Ralph said of his secret of love after 60 years was a little give and take.

“We’ve always had a great friendship over the years and you have to remember to go that extra mile sometimes for each other.

“We’ve got a wonderful family and I couldn’t be happier.”