Celebration later in the year for diamond couple

THE coronavirus lockdown may have put paid to any diamond wedding celebrations for Janice and Merton Firestone.

But the Manchester couple, who mark 60 years of wedded bliss today, are hoping to hold a celebratory event in a few months instead.

Janice (nee Jacobs) and Merton first met in the autumn of 1957 when they were both taking a Rosh Hashana stroll in Heaton Park.

And they were soon courting — and playing husband and wife in a show at Manchester Maccabi.

Three years later they became husband and wife for real when they were married on April 24, 1960, at the South Broughton Synagogue by Rabbi Louis Jacobs — Janice’s cousin.

Salford-raised Janice gave the couple the perfect fifth wedding anniversary present when she gave birth to Lindsey. She was soon followed by Francine (now Horwich).

Soon after marrying, the couple opened a shop in Cheetham Hill selling watches, clocks and jewellery before Merton entered the textile trade.

Lifelong Manchester City supporter Merton, 83, retired in November, 2001, and now volunteers regularly at the Nicky Alliance Day Centre.

Janice, a former NHS practice manager and part-time credit controller, is a member of Carmel WIZO. To add to the celebrations, she will be 83 on Sunday.

The grandparents-of-three, who are members of Holy Law Synagogue, are keeping in touch with their children and grandchildren via Zoom.

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