A COUPLE have had to forego a big family party to celebrate their diamond wedding at home alone.

Ian and Sheila Carr had hoped their relatives would be joining them for a special lunch at a restaurant.

But current coronavirus restrictions mean they have to maintain social distancing and the party has been put on hold for the time being.

But family members did visit their home on Thirlmere Avenue, in Chester-le-Street, to wish them both well and see them on their big day, albeit from the end of their driveway.

Mr Carr, 81, and Sheila, 80, were married on May 14, 1960, at Crook Methodist Church in the Market Place.

The pair had met at Tow Law Dance when they were 16 and 15.

Once wed they lived in Crook for some time before moving to Chester-le-Street.

Mr Carr was a miner until joining Durham Constabulary where he served as a police officer for over 25 years, while Mrs Carr worked as a clerk in the Crook Co-Operative society.

They have two sons, Steven and Jeff, and one daughter, Susan, along with five grandchildren, Grant, Laura, Sarah, Lewis and Brett and five great-grandchildren James, Georgia, Phoebe, Jacob and Grace.

They enjoy seeing the world on cruises and were in the Caribbean in February as part of their diamond wedding anniversary celebrations and regularly attend the dance at Chilton on a Saturday night.

Mrs Carr said: “The secret to a happy marriage is doing everything together, sharing everything and spending time surrounded by family.”

Mr Carr, who is a season ticket holder at Newcastle United for over 50 years, said: “We feel disappointed that we aren’t able to celebrate this occasion with family and friends as we had planned due to the current situation but will do so as soon as possible.”