Gorleston couple celebrate 60 years after braving blizzards together

THEY battled Arctic conditions and broken-down buses to make their big day dreams come true, but sixty years on and one Gorleston couple are as close as ever.

Jack and Evelyn Dye, of Granville Road, marked their diamond wedding anniversary last Thursday with a trip to Potters Leisure Resort the weekend before with the family, where they enjoyed dinner and a variety show.

And it was in front of a large audience at the show that together they took an unexpected trip down memory lane.

“There was a large screen by the stage and they put up our wedding photos on there,” 84-year-old Jack said, “there were more than a hundred people there and it really brought back memories- it really didn’t seem all that long ago.”

The couple first met at what used to be the Coliseum Cinema in 1949 shortly after Jack had left the army.

It was a chance encounter brought about as Evelyn, one row behind her future husband, drew his attention with her spirited laugh, and after a little chat they bumped into each other once again a few days later.

And even though Evelyn moved to Norwich to work in a nursing home shortly after they met, their courting continued, with both travelling to see each other by train- a carriage proving to be the fateful setting for Jack’s proposal.

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Jack said: “We were travelling back one Sunday afternoon and we were both looking out towards a herd of cattle and I just proposed there and then- I think I had planned to do it when we were both in a placid sort of mood!”

Their wedding in 1951, which followed a short engagement, was no less conventional- not that it was anything to do with the loving couple.

Heading out to St Peter and Paul’s Church in Swaffham, the birth town on Evelyn, now 79, to tie the knot, they were confronted with the harshest of snowy conditions.

“We were on the bus to the church,” added the great grandfather “and the driver slowed right down and stopped, saying ‘I think we’re going to have to go back’- I thought no way, and we all got out and pushed it to get it started again. We were frozen.”

And it was after two years of living together at a friend’s house that they got their own pad, in which they brought up their two children and in which they live to this very day.

Over that time Evelyn remained a nurse, finishing her career in James Paget University Hospital while Jack retired in 1989 a phone installer for BT.

Since then, they’ve enjoyed their time holidaying around the world, and while Jack works as an archivist for Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre, Evelyn enjoys knitting and crosswords.