Grandson delivers Diamond day card
PUBLISHED: 17:08 08 October 2016
Having tapped out telegrams and delivered momentous news on slips of paper it was time for a couple to receive their own significant letter in the mail.
Roy and Janet Batley, from Bradwell, met at Great Yarmouth Post Office where she typed out messages fresh from training in code-cracking Bletchley Park and he delivered them.
And when they celebrated six decades of wedded bliss it was their postie grandson Matthew Appleton who handed them the Queen’s best wishes.
It was a scenario that had been played out a generation before when Janet’s parents reached the same milestone and Roy made the delivery, adding to the significance of the day.
Decades ago the moment was captured on camera and now another similar picture has been slipped into the family album recording the occasion - and the family’s long links with the postal service in all its eras.
Mrs Batley, 80, said it was nice to be able to repeat the gesture, with generations connected by a career in communications although most of their skills had been eclipsed by the digital age.
The couple met in 1950, both aged 15, having left school one day and started work the next.
They married in 1956 and had two children Julie and Sarah.
Roy went on to complete 50 years service with the Royal Mail, with daughter Sarah’s sons Andrew and Matthew following their grandfather into the business and taking up their own rounds.
Decades earlier Janet’s parents Ted and Lilly Kemp were well known faces at Kemp Brothers newsagents in Belton which they ran for 70 years, Mr Kemp becoming known at 80-years-old as the country’s oldest paperboy. On their diamond wedding it was Roy who did the handover honours, the Queen sending congratulations via telegram in those days.
His delivery skills came to the fore during the 1953 floods as well, ditching his post office van and rowing round Cobholm handing telegrams to marooned households in upstairs windows from anxious relatives eager for news and prompt pre-paid replies.
The couple celebrated their anniversary with a family party at Gorleston’s Pier Hotel.
Mr Batley, 81, joked that the secret of their long and happy marriage was having similar interests and temperaments - helped by a spot of superglue.