Special celebrations for Diamond Wedding couple from Uppermill

A family reunion in Llandudno, a card from the Queen and a unicorn from great grand daughter, Faith, all added up to a memorable diamond wedding anniversary for an Uppermill couple.

Ian and Alma with great grand daughter Faith

And while true love has run smoothly for Ian McInnes and wife Alma over the past 60 years, life together has occasionally been turbulent.

“We were once on a flight in the Far East when our plane got hit by lightening,” recalls Alma, 78.

“The cockpit windows were smashed and the nose cone too. I remember saying to Ian, ‘I don’t want to die.’

“I am not sure how the pilot managed to land. I spent the night with a bible in one hand and a glass of whisky in the other.”

Happily, the pair, both former chairs of Saddleworth Parish Council, came through the ordeal.

And more than two decades later – on August 10 last month – they ‘touched down’ in North Wales to celebrate the big 60.

They were joined by daughter, Fiona, grandchildren, Catherine, Elizabeth and Becky; great grand children, Faith, Alfie and Isobelle plus daughter-in-law, Susan.

Among the many cards was one of congratulations from Buckingham Palace for the Oldham-born couple whose secret of nuptial bliss is “tolerance.”

They were married at St Ambrose Church, Derker with Ian resplendent in his RAF uniform.

“I was a clerk typist, no-one special,” chuckles Ian, who has another celebration coming up on September 29 – his 80th birthday.

Ian and Alma on their wedding day

He went on to work for a variety of electricity supply and distribution companies, including Norweb and North Eastern EB, with a staff of 1000 under his control.

Ian also served as a Justice of the Peace for 21 years and was an elected Saddleworth member on Oldham Council.

Alma, who served two terms as Parish Council chair, was a familiar face locally for more than 20 years as a playgroup administrator. She was elected to the Council in 2004 and was chair for the final time in 2009-2010.

As well as politics, the couple also share another passion – rather than gifts for their landmark anniversary, they asked for donations to the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity.

A chance conversation with former Mayor of Oldham, Alan Griffiths, led them to becoming host parents to youngsters from the Ukrainian city devastated by a nuclear power plant accident in 1986.

“We hosted 14 children, including one girl six times,” explained Alma. “We don’t do it any longer but the charity is still special to us.”


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