Diamond couple started on right track

A SURPRISE invitation to say goodbye to a friend at a train station proved the start of a long romantic journey for Burgh Castle man Malcolm Skipper.The unsuspecting serviceman was invited by Margaret Sharman and his brother Eric to see off a friend from Great Yarmouth's Southtown station in 1937 as she headed home to Otley in Suffolk.

A SURPRISE invitation to say goodbye to a friend at a train station proved the start of a long romantic journey for Burgh Castle man Malcolm Skipper.

The unsuspecting serviceman was invited by Margaret Sharman and his brother Eric to see off a friend from Great Yarmouth's Southtown station in 1937 as she headed home to Otley in Suffolk.

However, little did the former Burgh Castle quarry worker know but he was unwittingly the target of Margaret's affections and their relationship has stayed on track ever since, with

the couple celebrating

their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday.

Margaret said: “Eric was going out with my friend Margery at that time and I was going to see her off from the station, and I said to Eric you can only come along if you bring Malcolm as well, and it all started from there.”

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The couple married at All Saints' Church in Belton in 1950 after a long courtship during which Malcolm, 84, served during the second world war with the Royal Norfolk Regiment and with the paratroopers.

They had originally met while pupils at Belton School and used to go to the cinema together.

After being demobbed in 1944, Malcolm worked on a farm for a year before becoming a lorry driver and then working for Harford Engineers and at the Burgh Castle sand quarry. He retired in 1988 aged 62.

Margaret, who lived in Station Road, Belton, worked at J T Berry's grocery store in Belton and then at the Sunshine Caf� on Yarmouth seafront.

The couple have three children - Paul, 58, Jean Drewery, 56, and Joy Wakefield, 53 - six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Margaret said: “We love each other and we do what we can for each other. We have little arguments, but we never have anything serious.”

To celebrate their diamond wedding, the family had a special get-together at Shrublands Community Centre in Gorleston, attended by 70 relatives, and raised �101.50 for the British

Heart Foundation through donations given at the event.

The couple chose the charity because they have both received treatment for heart conditions.