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Golden Wedding – Couple Who Nearly Forgot

August 1939

Mexborough & Swinton Times, August 11, 1939

Golden Wedding

Darfield Couple Who Nearly Forgot

Although Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Symcox of Pitt Street, Low Valley, had talked about their golden wedding anniversary some weeks ago, they almost forgot it when it actually arrived on Sunday.

It was when Mr. Symcox noticed the calendar showing August 6th that he suddenly exclaimed to his wife, “Why it’s our Golden Wedding anniversary.” Later in the day however, they were the recipients of showers of congratulations, for as they went to the little Mission Church of St. Matthews as is their custom, they met the Rector on his way there to conduct the service. Mr. Symcox mentioned the Golden Wedding to him, and when giving out the church notices, he announced the fact to his congregation, most of whom waited to shake hands with them after the service.

Mr. Symcox who will be 73 in January is very active for his age, and when visited by our Darfield correspondent, climbed over the top of a high wall into his garden to cut for her some of the dahlias he had grown.

Born in the Pottery District of North Staffordshire, he commenced work at the age of eight, receiving half a crown a week.

At the age of 11 he came to the Low Valley district to live with an aunt, and as resided in Pitt Street ever since, although in those days it was not known by that name. When only 11, he worked down the mine at Darfield Main, entering the pit at 5 am and leaving at 6 pm. During winter he never saw daylight except on a Sunday. He stayed for over half a century at Darfield Main, retiring at the age of 63. Since then he has made a hobby of gardening and has a large plot at the rear of his home in which he grows vegetables and sunflowers.

One of the greatest interests enjoys in his life, shared by his wife also, is the Mission Church at Low Valley. The first meeting held in 1879, was at his aunt’s home, where he lived, and there a discussion took place between Mrs Frank Taylor of Middlewood Hall and several others as to the great need of a little church at Low Valley.

It was duly built and Mr Simcock, then only use, scrub it out before the opening. He was present when the Bishop of Beverley dedicated it. He has been a Sunday School scholar there, and for nearly 40 years a sidesman, a duty he still performs. He can recall the days when golden sovereigns were put in the collecting bag, by several of the patrons of the church.

Native of Rotherham

Mrs Agnes Simcox, his wife, is a native of Rotherham, and left school at the age of 6 ½. It has always been her lot since that early age to work for others, but she enjoys it. She was in domestic service when only a child at Woodall farm, and later at Upperwood Hall, she married at the early age of 19.

The wedding took place at Darfield Parish Church, the Rev Sleep officiating. Mr Simcock proudly recalls the fact that she wore a brown and cream Indian silk gown, and she, together with the bridegroom and all three bridesmaids, one of whom (Mrs J Stephenson) still lives in Darfield, all drove to the Parish Church on a wagonette, and after the ceremony were taken for a drive through the village. She has devoted a good deal of time to church work and for a period was a Sunday school teacher. All are four sons were choristers at the Mission Church.

Mr and Mrs Simcox have four sons and two daughters and 15 grandchildren.