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Community Stories: John And Nora

Community Stories: John and Nora

Nora and John Wilkinson
Celebrating Platinum Wedding Anniversary (70 Years) on 01.07.20
Nora and John met at Montague Burtons factory in 1947. Nora started work there when she was 14 and John started work there on completing his National Service. When John asked Nora how old she was she told him she was 16 (even though she was only 15 at the time), it was only when it came to Nora’s birthday that she confessed to her true age!
After courting for about a year John asked Nora to marry him. He took her to Manchester to buy an engagement ring but when they got to Manchester Nora decided she needed a new winter coat and would rather have this than an engagement ring! She came home with a new coat and never bothered with an engagement ring.
Three years after meeting, when Nora was 18 and John was 22, they got married on 1st July 1950 at St Anne’s Church, Hindsford. After their wedding, they went to Blackpool for a week on their honeymoon.
They spent the first 3 years of married life living with John’s mum and dad in King William Street, Tyldesley. When a house directly across the street came for sale they jumped at the chance to buy it. John worked at Burtons until it closed in the 1970s, after its closure he became a postman based at Tyldesley sorting office, he always took pride in whatever he did and was noted as the only postman always to wear a shirt and tie! He was always highly regarded by the hundreds of people he delivered post to on his daily rounds. Nora left Burton’s to work at Ward and Goldstones where she worked full time and then, as children came along, she worked part-time on and off, her main priority was always to look after her children and she spent many years at home with them.
They have 2 daughters, Diane and Suzanne. Family has always been at the heart of John and Nora’s marriage and over the years they have been blessed with four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
They had many holidays and days out at the British seaside. When they were younger they visited a variety of places from Devon to the Norfolk Broads and had lots of fond memories of their adventures. In later years one of their favourite things to do was to walk to Atherton Central Station and catch the train to Southport for a day out. They were also well known for the walking they did around Tyldesley and Atherton and the surrounding fields – people still comment they miss seeing them around.
At home, Nora loved knitting, sewing, and doing crosswords and John loved decorating and watching snooker on TV. John was a keen amateur snooker player, he represented and practiced weekly at Tyldesley Conservative Club (even though he was a staunch Labour voter all his life – he just preferred the snooker tables at the Conservative Club!).
They lived happily in King William Street for over 60 years until Nora’s dementia meant that John and her family could no longer care for her at home and she went to live at The Oaks care home, Diane and Suzanne supported John to visit Nora as often as they could but John was desperately unhappy being separated from Nora and after 18 months apart John moved into the care home with her. Thanks to the care and support of the staff at The Oaks they have been able to enjoy being together every day for the past 4 years.
Their daughters think the secrets to their long marriage are having a sense of humour, patience, understanding, loyalty, and realising that the small things are actually the big things in life.
We know times are hard right now but little things like this can always cheer you up for a few minutes!
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