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National Marriage Week: Celebrating 60 Years With Sir John and Lady Mae

By 13th February 2017 No Comments
Sir John and Lady Mays 60th Wedding Anniversary

As a leading luxury wedding venue, we’re thrilled to be celebrating National Marriage week with a celebration of a wedding anniversary. With 150 acres of beautiful historic parkland, magnificent State Rooms and luxury accommodation, Wynyard Hall really is the most romantic setting for weddings, weekend retreats and special celebrations alike.

Families often choose to celebrate wedding anniversaries at Wynyard Hall, and there is one special celebration that the team was delighted to be part of…

Sir John & Lady Mae’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary

Sir John’s self-titled “Garden Of My Time” was the delightful and very appropriate setting for their recent diamond wedding celebration, which took place in the Grand Marquee, just next to The Gardens. With a surprise appearance from international opera singing sensation Tenori. Sir John and Lady Mae raised a glass, with family and friends, to 60 years of wedded happiness.

The Gardens are the culmination of Sir John’s childhood dream, which he came to share with his beloved Lady Mae. As a result of their loving relationship, it was a dream which blossomed, and what better place to celebrate the diamond years of a long and happy marriage?
Life for Sir John began as a miner’s son in the pit village of Ashington in Northumberland, with his love of roses being nurtured in the family’s back garden where it was more traditional to grow leeks for competitions and vegetables to supplement miners’ incomes.

“I was still at school when I grew my first rose, a present from my father,” he recalls. “I don’t remember the variety now, but I know it was pink and had a wonderful perfume.” Because of this, he fell in love with the English rose and has always made sure to have roses in every garden that he’s ever had. He calls it “the most beautiful flower – a symbol of England”, and he is most proud to be English.

Sir John & Lady Mae’s Story

Where and how did you meet?

Dancing at Oxford Galleries, Newcastle – we had the last dance together.

How old were you both?


What were your first impressions of each other?

Mae: He was very ambitious
John: Mae’s nice nature

What work were you both doing at the time?

John was a mining surveyor whilst studying, and Mae was a nursery nurse.

And did you live near each other?

No, John lived in North Seaton colliery and Mae lived in Windy Nook, Gateshead.

Did Sir John propose formally? 

John asked Mae’s father if he could marry her and then they bought the ring in Manchester on a weekend away. John gave Mae the ring on top of a double-decker bus and said ‘you might as well have it’ – very romantic!

When were the children born?

Douglas was born in 1958 and Alison in 1960.

Was Sir John a ‘hands-on’ father?

John was working, studying and building the business. There were two jobs – Mae looked after the home and John looked after the business. When the business was established many years later we both had more time and spent it with the grandchildren and whole family on wonderful family holidays.

Who planned the wedding anniversary?

Mae and daughter Allison

Was there a theme?

Our theme was diamonds!

How many friends and family attended?


Were there any surprises on the night?

Allison booked classical singers ‘Tenori’ to perform, which was a lovely surprise and enjoyed by all.

What do you like most about the other?

We both have very similar interests and are ready to compromise to make the relationship work.

Finally, what have you learned from your long partnership together that you would pass on?

Family matters above all.


To inquire about anniversary celebrations or special occasions at Wynyard Hall, please contact our Events Team. Email events@wynyardhall.co.uk.

Photography Credit: Focal Point Photography