A North East couple have marked their 40th wedding anniversary at the same ‘plaice’ they celebrated tying the knot.
Alan and Anne Hodgson, who run Hartlepool-based seafood supplier Hodgson Fish, held their wedding reception at the Best Western Plus Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield in 1975.
And they recently returned to the four star venue to mark their ruby anniversary – and were even attended to by the same member of staff.
Hardwick Hall Hotel’s current Restaurant Manager, Jeronimo Martin (known as Martin), was among the team who catered for Alan and Anne’s original wedding and was delighted to see the duo return.
“I have worked at Hardwick Hall Hotel for 44 years,” he said, “and I always love to see familiar faces coming back time after time. I remember Alan and Anne’s wedding quite clearly and it was fantastic to be a part of their anniversary celebrations too.”
Alan and Anne, who met as teenagers, were married at St Luke’s Church in Hartlepool before travelling to nearby Hardwick Hall Hotel to celebrate with around 40 guests.
The hotel, part of leading leisure organisation Ramside Estates, was one of Hodgson Fish’s first wholesale customers, so the couple fittingly opted for a shellfish buffet as part of their wedding breakfast.
Fish was also on the menu for the couple’s recent anniversary return, where they were once again joined by close family and friends in the same room that they had hired 40 years ago.
“It was just like old times being back at Hardwick Hall” said Anne.
“While we have worked closely with the venue as fish suppliers for around 50 years, being able to return for such an amazing occasion was an extra special treat and brought back a lot of great memories.
“I can clearly remember posing for pictures on the lawn on our wedding day and it was fantastic to be able to recreate that 40 years on.
“I was also amazed to see that our original waiter Martin was still working there but being able to catch up with him was really the icing on the cake.”
The award-winning Best Western Plus Hardwick Hall Hotel specialises in weddings and private celebrations, with a variety of suites available to cater for anywhere up to 1500 guests.
More information about the venue, including its wide range of packages, can be found by visiting www.hardwickhall.co.uk or calling 01740 620253.