Bradwell diamond day couple had whirlwind romance

THEY were engaged to be married only two weeks after their first encounter.

And now Charles and Eileen Kightley have shown their bond is unbreakable by celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

The pair were first introduced to each other during a new year’s eve celebration held at a former dance hall on Great Yarmouth seafront.

Charles, 85, met his future wife through his sister who had worked with Eileen at the Barber corn merchants in Yarmouth.

A fortnight later the couple agreed to marry after Charles proposed to Eileen at a field gate while walking in Burgh Castle.

The couple returned to the village on July 7, 1951, where they married in Burgh Castle Church.

Charles, who had served in the Army in Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus and Libya, spent the majority of his working life at Whitbread in Yarmouth where he retired as a transport manager in 1982.

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Meanwhile, Eileen completed an apprenticeship at Palmers department store in Yarmouth and worked as a book-keeper, before becoming a full-time mum.

The couple, who now live in Bradwell, have three children, including two sons, Phillip, 56, and David, 54, and a daughter, Jill 58, as well as seven grandchildren.

Eileen, 84, said despite arranging their marriage quickly they have never regretted it.

She said: “He has always been a good husband and we have had a good life together.”

Meanwhile, Charles believes that in their 60 years of marriage they have never had any major problems.

“It has been a great time and we have been very happy together,” he said. “We have always been quite content and never had any problems at all really.”

Since retiring, Eileen enjoys knitting toys, which she donates to the James Paget University Hospital, whilst Charles spends his time doing gardening and DIY.

They celebrated their landmark occasion on July 7 with a dinner party for 30 family and friends at the Waterside restaurant in Rollesby.