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Gem of a day for couple who came from Italy in the 1950s
A couple who were childhood sweethearts in their native Italy are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary next week, as the country prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Pietro and Dina Di Pietro are planning an Italian arrosticini barbecue with family and friends at their home on Valley Drive next Thursday.
At the age of 18, Dina came over from Italy in March 1950 to work in the cotton mills in Leeds and then Burley-in-Wharfedale – initially on a two-year contract. But she never went home.
Pietro used to write to her and ask her if she could find him a job in England, as there was no work in Italy at that time.
She found him a job as a farm hand on Friar’s Head Farm in Gargrave, and he came over in November 1951.
Pietro used to cycle over from Gargrave to Burley on his days off to see Dina and take her out. Eventually he asked her to marry him and they were married in Burley on May 31, 1952.
They lived on the farm for about five years and then moved to Ilkley in 1957 because they wanted to buy their own house. Pietro then went to work at Rolls Royce in Yeadon as a bench worker in the factory and stayed there for 35 years.
Dina became a home help and worked for Bradford Council.
The couple have three children, Silvana, Rosina and Gino, and five grandchildren, Lisa, Amy, Lauren, Dario and Elio.
Their son Gino is getting married this month, and the family are also celebrating Amy’s 21st and Dario’s 18th birthdays, so this will be a year to remember for them.
Pietro is 81 and Dina is 80, and enjoy an active lifestyle.
Pietro has a great love of gardening and winemaking. He even made his own wine press, which he keeps in the garage.
He enjoys a drink at the Hollygarth Social Club on a Friday night and the couple can often be found there on a Sunday night playing Bingo.
Dina loves cooking for the family and watching Italian TV and is a member at the Italian U3A club in Keighley, which meets every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.