Happy diamond anniversary, Mr (and Mrs) Quiz!

What are the odds of meeting the love of your life on a blind date?

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 9:08 am
Jack and Betty Salt celebrate their diamond anniversary today.
Jack and Betty Salt celebrate their diamond anniversary today.

Probably not many, yet this is what happened to Jack and Betty Salt when their friends set them up back in 1958.

“I didn’t even want to go,” said Jack, “but my mum told me ‘you’re not letting that lad [his friend] down, you’re going’. So I went.

“We went out for tea and then we went to see a film and when I came home that night I told my mother ‘I just met the girl I’m going to marry’.

Their wedding day in Royston.

“Something just clicked, she was bonny, she still is bonny.”

“I was shy,” added Betty, “but I liked him very much, I thought he was lovely and a couple of weeks in I knew that I wanted to marry him.”

Sixty years ago today, on March 28 1959, the pair tied the knot in Royston, near Barnsley.

“It was a cold and snowy day,” remembered Betty, “but the sun came out just when we were saying our vows.”

At the time Jack was a fireman on the railways and Betty used to work at the local post office.

The two went on to have three children: John, Kathryn and Matthew.

The move to Scarborough came in 1976 when Jack got a job with insurance company Prudential.

It was here that he quickly became well-known for what most people in town will remember him for: his famous quizzes for the Scarborough Evening News.

“I used to collect the insurance from someone in the press room,” he explained “and someone asked me ‘why don’t you do a quiz for the paper?’

“‘Alright then’ I said, and that was it.”

Jack’s quizzes were published six nights a week for a total of 19 years. His hobby, which started in 1967, got him the name of Mr Quiz.

“He still does them now for churches or charities,” said Betty. “He writes all the questions himself by hand.

“People in town still stop him because they recognise him.”

Scarborough News deputy editor Steve Bambridge added: “It was a real pleasure when Jack used to come in to Aberdeen Walk to hand in his quizzes, and he would test the staff with them. A right answer would be greeted by him with his infamous ‘Corrrrrrect!’

“It’s wonderful to see Jack and Betty celebrating their special day.”

As a couple, Jack and Betty also got involved with local choirs. They used to sing at Queen Street Methodist Central Hall and they are both still part of Scarborough’s Christian Fellowship Choir.

The two have a very large family with 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Thinking back at the 60 years spent together, Betty said it was their faith that kept them strong.

“We just feel blessed. There’s always things that come and overshadow things but we stood strong together and we stood by our vows.”

Daughter Kathryn said: “They’re a good team.

“My dad’s the funny character, there’s always been a laugh in the house, and my mum’s the quiet one out of the two. She always used to call him Jack the Lad.”

Jack and Betty will be celebrating their anniversary with a blessing at church.