Couple were born to be together

A couple, who were born on the same day, within a few hours of each other, and just a few streets apart have just celebrated their 80th birthdays.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 2:05 pm
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 5:40 pm
Barrie and Muriel Maden,who have been married for 56 years, were born on the same day and delivered by the same midwife.

And Barrie Maden and his wife Muriel were even delivered by the same midwife in Nelson.

But it wasn't until they were 18 that they met and fate sealed the rest as they fell in love at first sight and have now been happily married for 56 years.

The couple met at a dance at the Romany Ballroom in Nelson and started courting immediately.

The loving couple on their wedding day

And when Muriel told her mum the name of the boy she had met it all fell into place.

Muriel said: "As a child my mother told me the story of the boy who was born on the same day as me.

"The midwife had delivered Barrie at around 9am in the morning and I was born at 4pm.

"The midwife told my mother he was a big baby!"

The loving couple on their wedding day

Until then their paths had never crossed as they both went to different schools, Muriel was at St Paul's, Little Marsden, and Barrie was a pupil at Bradley Street primary.

Although they were both at the former Mansfield High School for a short time they still never met.

The couple, who still live in Nelson and have two children, David and Tracey, married when they were 24 at St Paul's Church in Little Marsden.

While Barrie, who also completed two years of National Service, carved out a successful career as an engineer Muriel spent 40 years as a singing teacher, only retiring last year.

Many of Muriel's pupils have gone on to forge successful careers, including Helen Ternent, who has appeared on the West End stage and soprano Stella Whitehouse.

Muriel was soloist for the Nelson Excelsior Male Voice Choir and she has sung with Burnley Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Pendle Opera.

She studied vocal physiology in her 30s and was presented with her certificate of graduation from the London College of Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber's father, William, who was also a composer.

And although she no longer teaches Muriel still loves to sing and will perform with the Burnley Municipal Choir later this year.

To celebrate their joint 80th birthdays, Tracey threw them a surprise meal at the Craven Heifer Inn at Kelbrook where they were joined by their six grandchildren and several friends.

Barrie said: "The celebrations have been going on for about two weeks now, we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves."