Blue sapphire celebrations for gem of a couple

Photo Ian Robinson'Joan and Andrew Parkinson, from Out Rawcliffe, who celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary
Photo Ian Robinson'Joan and Andrew Parkinson, from Out Rawcliffe, who celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary

A WELL known couple from Out Rawcliffe have celebrated their Blue Sapphire (65th) wedding anniversary.

Andrew and Joan Parkinson are both from farming families in the Out Rawcliffe and Stalmine area, and they met as teenagers during the Second World War through the Young Farmers’ Club.

They were married at St James’ Church, Stalmine, on Easter Monday, April 7, 1947.

They honeymooned in Edinburgh – where it snowed – and then shortly afterwards moved to Liscoe Farm, Out Rawcliffe.

Whilst farming they built up the Liscabank Herd of pedigree British Friesians and the farm is now run by their two sons and two grandsons.

They have five children: Brian and Alan who run the family farm; Andy, who has the butcher’s shop in Great Eccleston; Anne, who has a country house hotel in North Yorkshire; and Vera whose husband, Don Lawrenson, will become Mayor of Wyre Borough Council next month.

They also have 18 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.

They are both members of Out Rawcliffe Over 60s Club.

Andrew served on Out Rawcliffe Parish Council for 30 years, was a school governor at the village school for 30 years, chairman of the Lancashire Herd Competition for seven years, is a past chairman and president of the Lancashire and Adjacent Counties Friesian Breeders’ Club, was a founder member and chairman of Wyreside Farmers’ Club and was a founder member, chairman and president – and is still involved with – Out Rawcliffe Bowling Club.

He is also a past president and chairman of the Over Wyre Veterans’ Bowling League and is still a committee member and team captain.

Joan is a founder member of Out Rawcliffe Mothers’ Union, and founder member and past president of Great Eccleston and District Ladies NFU, a past county president of Lancashire Ladies NFU, a founder member and past chairman of Agricolae, past president of Great Eccleston and District Agricultural Show, was the first lady president (and is still an active member of) Out Rawcliffe Bowling Club and was secretary of the Wyre and District Ladies’ Afternoon Bowling League for 21 years. She still captains a team in this league.

She enjoys china painting, and her work can be seen in pride of place in all the hones of family members.

The couple received a congratulatory message from the Queen and celebrated their anniversary with an “at home” with family and friends.