Diamond day for charity helpers
ACOUPLE whose eyes first met during a school snowball fight are celebrating 60 years of marriage.
Anne and Neville Crane, of Fernhill Close, Stacksteads, were due to mark their Diamond Wedding anniversary on Thursday, December 27.
They met as Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School students, while Neville also taught botany and zoology there from 1958-61.
A Probus member, Neville, 82, later taught in Nigeria and Montego Bay in the Sixties, retiring as head of biological sciences at Bury Metropolitan College after 30 years in the profession.
The couple, who have a daughter Sharon Rose, son Ian Crane, and grandchildren David and Katy, were recently treated to a tour of their old classrooms, organised by former deputy head and friend Trevor Elkington.
Anne, who grew up in Cloughfold and has a long connection with many charitable and community groups, said it was a ‘lovely’ treat. She added: “We met three students and they presented us with a bouquet of flowers.
“We both had a very good grounding at BRGS. We met there in 1954, we had a snowball fight and I got two snowballs down his neck! I thought ‘he will remember me.’”
The family hit the headlines in 1962 when Neville, who had recently returned to Nigeria from leave, only learned of daughter Sharon’s birth 4,000 miles away from his local bank manager.
Anne had stayed behind for the birth, but when a telegram announcing it was placed in Neville’s pigeon hole in Kano, he had already been unexpectedly transferred to Sokoto, hundreds of miles away.
Neville finally got the happy news after a ‘babyhas-just-arrived’ card was sent to a friend in Wales, the wife of Sokoto’s bank manager.
A school secretary at Thorn Primary, as well as chairman of governors, Anne, 79, was president of Bacup Soroptomists for their Silver Jubilee year and vice chaired Hyndburn and Rossendale Victim Support’s committee.
The couple are also known as Save the Children volunteers - Neville delivering the fruit scones on annual Strawberry Delight fundraisers.
They were both patient liaison helpers - known as pals - after Bacup’s health centre opened in 2005.
The family will celebrate with an anniversary meal the day after Boxing Day, followed by a blessing service at their church Stacksteads Methodist on Sunday, December 30.
Rossendale couple Neville and Anne Crane are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. They are pictured below on their wedding day