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Hemsby couple celebrate 60 year marriage

PUBLISHED: 16:11 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:50 30 June 2010

Peggy and Stanley Watson

Peggy and Stanley Watson

IT may not have been the ideal start, but for one couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary a forgetful vicar wasn't going to get in the way of a long and happy marriage.

IT may not have been the ideal start, but for one couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary a forgetful vicar wasn't going to get in the way of a long and happy marriage.

When Peggy Watson was about to walk down the aisle at Hemsby Methodist Church she hadn't bargained that the man due to wed her to Stanley, now 85, would still be digging his garden.

She said: “It was booked and everything, but he had forgotten. We were going round and round in the car and he got there half an hour late. Because we had booked a photo in Great Yarmouth we had to rush off from our reception at what was the Hemsby Institute but it worked out okay in the end.”

Peggy and Stanley Watson first encountered each other on the sidelines while watching Hemsby football club in 1948. It was two years later they made the slightly delayed vows which were to bind them until the present day.

It was in the spirit of celebration, then, that 60 years later they received a visit from the Mayor and Mayoress, Tony and Sara Smith, as well as friends on Thursday. And having enjoyed that, they will now be heading off to Suffolk for a big meal with members of their family.

For Peggy, 80, the key to a long marriage is sharing. She said: “With us, it has never been about 'mine' and 'yours', but about 'ours'. We've shared everything since we got married, and it had always been a case of give and take with the both of us, something that is still true today.”

Though born in Martham, Stanley had worked as staff with the general governor in New Zealand from the age of 16 until returning to the UK and shortly later he met his future wife. He went on to be a carpenter and joiner before retiring at the age of 60, while his wife worked as a shorthand typist before having their son Melvyn in 1953.

She then went on to work at various places, including at a plumbing and heating engineers for 17 years, and in retirement the couple have enjoyed caravanning around Britain.

The couple, who have five great-grandchildren, said things would be lower key than for their golden anniversary and Peggy added: “That was a bigger affair and people brought presents, which I've told them not to do this time. We're happy to have something a bit quieter this time around.”

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