AN AUTHOR, sports writer, and a former investigative journalist and his wife marked 50 years of happy marriage.

Don Hale and Kath, of Deganwy, tied the knot on October 20, 1973, at Bury Register Office.

Heavy rain, as a result of Storm Babet, halted play for the couple on their Golden Wedding anniversary but Don and Kath were still able to go to the cinema together to see The Great Escaper.

"We had a nice meal out at the Castle in Conwy and we had planned to do a few things on the day but everything was scrubbed really because the weather was so awful," Don said. 

"We couldn't go to the pictures on the actual day but we tied it in with the Golden Wedding anniversary. We hadn't been since lockdown."

Asked what it feels like to be married for 50 years, Don replied: "It doesn't feel anything like that. The time has absolutely flown by.

"We are the third generation of my family that has celebrated Golden Weddings which in some ways is unusual. You don't think it is going to come to your turn."

Don met Kath through the Manchester paper, the Prestwich & Whitefield Guide, [his local paper at the time].

North Wales Pioneer: Don Hale and Kath tied the knot on October 20, 1973, at the Register Office in Bury.Don Hale and Kath tied the knot on October 20, 1973, at the Register Office in Bury. (Image: Don Hale)
Kath was involved with St John's Ambulance and she had won a top award a Grand Prior's Award for nursing.

Don said: "I was playing football and coaching and different things and I had to get a coaching badge to stay on and I saw her picture in the Prestwich & Whitefield Guide. I thought she was an attractive young lady and I hoped she might give me some ideas in terms of first aid. 

"I wrote to her and asked her about contacting St John's for information and she wrote back. We later met up and it all started from there.

"I went on course with her and her colleagues for six to eight weeks at St John's and passed the certificates and completed my coaching badge.

"She has supported me with football and sports, all the way through."

The couple used to live in Lancashire, Bury, before moving to North Wales in 2021.

Don worked as a senior journalist for more than 40-years and has edited about five regional newspapers, in addition to working with the BBC and national newspapers.

His campaign to free Stephen Downing won the National Campaign of the Year Award and helped force a change in British and European law allowing any prisoner in denial of any offence the right to appeal for parole.

In 2002, Don was made an OBE for his efforts. He continued to help on several other high profile cases including the re-trial of the Jill Dando case, which ultimately found Barry George innocent.

North Wales Pioneer: Kath and Don celebrate 50 years of marriageKath and Don celebrate 50 years of marriage (Image: Don Hale)

Don said: "It was a very high profile case and I took early retirement after that. We moved over to Rhos on Sea initially and we live in Deganwy now.

"I was asked to do several major high profile cases and worked with some of the top barristers in the country as the lead investigator. 


"I worked for NWN Media Ltd (now Newsquest) for a few years. I was associated editor of the Pioneer for a few years and we started the North Wales Living magazine.

"I was made redundant and the magazine finished. I then did freelance part time.

"I started my sports blog about four or five years ago just to keep my hand in. I like athletics and I enjoy running. I do a lot of parkruns."


Don and Kath have got two sons as well as two grandsons. 

Don admits that his wife isn't into sport but they have a lot of shared interests and are both very family orientated.

"We are like chalk and cheese but it works out quite well sometimes," Don said.

"We are good company, each other best pals. We tolerate each other! 

"We have grown up together. We share everything together."