Lovebirds who fled aftermath of Hungarian Uprising celebrate 60 years of marriage

Les and Elizabeth Safrany on their wedding day.
Les and Elizabeth Safrany on their wedding day.

A Dinnington couple who risked everything to flee the aftermath of the 1956 revolution in Hungary for a new life in England have celebrated 60 years of happy marriage.

László and Erzsébet Safrany – known locally as Les and Elizabeth - were married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Hillsborough, on October 5, 1957, a year after arriving in the area as refugees from Tura, a village near Budapest in then-communist Hungary.

Les and Elizabeth Safrany have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Les and Elizabeth Safrany have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Speaking on their day of celebrations, the couple said it was hard to believe how far they had come, since arriving in England as poor refugees.

The village sweethearts risked everything to escape the crackdown after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. Les trekked across Europe to get to England arriving after Elizabeth, who was smuggled out of the country to a Red Cross camp in Austria.

Having very little to call their own, Elizabeth got married in a donated wedding dress courtesy of an article in the local paper.

They started their new life in Pittsmoor, Sheffield; moved to Brinsworth and then finally settling in Laughton-en-le-Morthen, Dinnington.

Mr Safrany worked as panel beater, before setting up his own car body repair business in Laughton which he ran until his retirement in 2000.

His wife, a trained copy typist, turned her secretarial skills to supporting the family business.

They have two children – Laszlo, a primary school teacher and Stephen, a research professor - and five grandchildren.

Les and Elizabeth received a congratulatory card from Her Majesty the Queen and a special papal blessing from His Holiness Pope Francis, which took the form of a beautifully decorated parchment.

To celebrate the couple’s milestone anniversary, their family arranged a special lunch at Rossington Hall, Doncaster.

As well as receiving gifts of flowers and a diamond anniversary rose bush, their daughter-in-law, Helen made a beautiful cake for the family to share as the happy couple were toasted with champagne.