Couple who overcame early tragedy celebrate golden wedding
BILL and Gloria Spragg are set to celebrate golden wedding — after overcoming tragedy early in their marriage.
The couple lost their youngest son Richard in the early 1970s, when he was just five, after he drowned in a nearby lake after an accident with friends.
They still have a school picture of Richard on their mantelpiece — but time and their now very large family have helped them move on.
The pair will mark 50 years of marriage with their five children, 22 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren to-morrow.
They both lived on Mobley Road in Breightmet and first met when they were just 14.
Mrs Spragg, aged 69, said: “We went to the same school and I became a friend of his sister, just so I could see more of him.
“Neither us grew up there. I was from Deane and he was from Halliwell but fate had it that we both ended up in Breightmet.”
Mr Spragg, aged 70, a retired builder, said: “It was not a lavish wedding as we didn’t have much money, as many people didn’t then. It was at the registry office in Mawdsley Street, and I remember we all went down on the bus, and then went to the Ancient Shepherd pub.
“We then went to our new house for a bit of food.
“Looking back now it seems amazing that even my suit had a little cigarette burn in it, as I’d had to wear it to another wedding a couple of days before.”
December is a busy month for Mr and Mrs Spragg, with several of their grandchildren having birthdays, as well as their wedding anniversary and Christmas.
A seventh great-grandchild is also not far away, with their eldest son Ian’s daughter Stacie due to give birth in January.
The couple will have a party at Heaton Cricket Club, hosted by their children, Ian, William, Pauline, Shirilee and April.
Mrs Spragg added: “I suppose our biggest achievement is still being together after all this time.”
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