Couples celebrate 50 golden years after their joint wedding

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FIFTY years after they were married in a joint ceremony, two local couples celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries together last week.

On April 23, 1962 Larne Congregational Church minister Rev Darragh officiated as sisters Mavis and Hermione Blair wed their husbands Tommy Patterson and Eric Shannon respectively

Half-a-century later, the Shannons and Pattersons were at the centre of another big family celebration in the Curran Court Hotel.

Farmer Tommy and Mavis, who live at Paisleys Road, have three children – Alistair, Isobel and Heather – and seven grandchildren. Hermione and lorry driver Eric Shannon, from Cairn Road, have one son, Kenneth.

The golden couples reflected on how times have changed since 1962, when the sisters’ wedding dresses cost a total of £25, although it was a tidy sum then

Isobel Mills, daughter of Tommy and Mavis Patterson, said: “It’s unusual enough for two couples to be married in a joint service and it must be even more unusual to have the same two couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries together.”

There was no need to go searching for other members of the wedding party for the anniversary celebration. Isobel explained: “They didn’t have bridesmaids or best men. The brides were bridesmaids for one another and the same for the grooms as best men.”