The day couple fell for each other

PUBLISHED: 15:57 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:19 03 July 2010

NOW: Alec and Norma Abrey

NOW: Alec and Norma Abrey

Dominic Bareham

WHEN pensioner Alec Abrey went on his first date with 18 year old Norma, little did he know he would literally tumble into the arms of the love of his life.

THEN: Alec and Norma Abrey before their marriage

WHEN pensioner Alec Abrey went on his first date with 18 year old Norma, little did he know he would literally tumble into the arms of the love of his life.

Alec had just walked his date Norma back to the family home she shared with her parents Doris and Bill Sturman in Hobland, near Hopton, in 1958 but had not noticed a waist-high fence at the side of the house, as it was a dark night.

Rather than going around the fence to get to the back door, Alec, then aged 19, carried straight on and fell over the top, much to the amusement of Norma.

Fortunately, despite the embarr-assing start, the couple's relationship didn't crash and they are set to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this weekend.

Norma, 70, said: “There were no lights and he walked me home, but he fell over the garden fence because it was so dark. I just laughed and said, 'talk about falling head over heels for somebody'.”

In fact, poor Alec had already overcome one hurdle to winning Norma's heart when she failed to show for a previous request for a date in 1957 to go to the cinema.

They had initially met in August 1957 while working at Matthes' Bakery in Gorleston where they packaged cakes and other products for the firm's customers, which included local holiday parks.

But it was not until their colleague Eddie Edwards played cupid that they finally got together in January 1958, after he noticed Alec's disappointment that Norma had not turned up for the date.

While dating they would regularly visit the cinema before marrying at St Margaret's Church in Hopton on March 14, 1959.

Alec went on to work for the local education authority and as a groundsman, then a lab technician at Claydon High School. His wife worked in the capping section at Erie Resistor and also returned to work at Matthes' for a while.

The couple, who live in Avenue Road, Gorleston, have two daughters, Lorraine and Joanne, two grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

They will be celebrating 50 years together with a family meal at Browston Hall tomorrow.

Norma ended: “We give and take and always make up after an argument. We don't fall at the first hurdle like it seems a lot of couples do - you have to work at marriage. We get on wonderfully well together and now we are retired we are spending more time together.”

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