Diamond Delight for Caister couple

A GREEN-FINGERED couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary have found that good things come in threes.

Thomas and Mary Coots, of Caister, marked 60 years of married life this month with a message of congratulations from the Queen and a meal with family at a seafood restaurant. And in the two days following, the pair enjoyed their granddaughter’s wedding and Thomas’s 84th birthday to make it a hat-trick of red letter days.

Mary, 80, said: “First it was the anniversary, then the wedding and birthday – it was celebrations all round and then it was home for a bit of a rest.”

The couple married on September 9, 1950, five years after first meeting in Hertfordshire at a local dance, where Thomas approached Mary but was determined to avoid having to show off his moves.

“I went with a friend of mine and he had come with a friend of his,” recalled Mary, “but he said our friends could dance and we could just sit down and talk.”

It was shortly after their meeting that Thomas, serving in the 3rd Parachute Battalion, was posted to the Middle East.

However, he had a regular supply of letters from his new sweetheart, and when he returned 14 months later they started courting. Not that the path to a happy marriage was always a smooth one.

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“I didn’t like him that much when we first met but then you get to know someone, and we clicked,” said Mary.

“However, he asked me to get engaged when I was 17 and I said I didn’t know him well enough so he waited a year before asking again. I said yes and I’m pleased I did.”

Following their marriage, they worked to save up for a house before moving to Watford, and then to Caister nearly two decades ago. It was a decision they say is one of the best they ever made.

Now the pair keep busy by tending to their garden, a passion that has seen them take a number of titles over the years at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston in Bloom. They also share a love of sport and keeping active. As well as swimming and golf, they play bowls in Rollesby together, and in contrast to their first meeting, enjoy sequence dancing in Bradwell.