Caister man’s taxi ride started a 50-year marriage journey

TAXI passenger Lenny Dyble was expecting to be dropped off outside a Caister High Street pub for a quick pint, but inadvertently found his way to a young girl’s heart.

For walking past at that moment in 1960 was 17-year-old Ormesby girl Jill Thain and the pair hit it off immediately, with Lenny inviting her into his intended destination, the Green Gate Inn, for a drink.

The then 22-year-old had just returned from a spell abroad with the Merchant Navy and was planning to have a drink at the pub before returning to his Caister home.

But instead he was at the start of a journey which has so far lasted 50 years, with the couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary last Friday.

They married at Ormesby St Margaret church on September 2, 1961, though their courtship was interrupted by Lenny’s frequent spells away from home with the Merchant Navy.

Jill, 69, said: “He said ‘hello’ and I said ‘hello’ and he said he was just home from sea. At the time I was with my cousin Rita and we used to go out regularly for a drink at the Green Gate Inn.”

After their marriage in front of over 50 relatives, they lived in North Road, Ormesby St Margaret and Lenny, 74, left the Merchant Navy to begin work at Bird’s Eye in Lowestoft before working on a light ship at Yarmouth port. He then worked as a roofer in the building trade before retiring early on health grounds. Jill worked as a hairdresser at a Caister salon before becoming a housewife after the births of the couple’s children.

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They have four children – John, 48, Tracey Smith, 47, Tami Morrow, 41 and Tina Dyble, 45 – and two grandsons, Aaron Dyble, 23 and Scott Smith, 22.

To celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, the couple went away on family holidays to Rovinj in Croatia and Venice in Italy and a family meal on Friday.

Jill said: “If we have got anything to say we always say it to each other. We do have family discussions and if something’s wrong we always talk to each other. We have never not spoken to each other.”