March 8 2014 Latest news:
By Kathryn Bradley
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Robert and Betty Cleave spent their first date queueing up to see the lying in state of King George VI.
But despite the unromantic start to their relationship, the couple were married the following year and this month they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Mr and Mrs Cleave, who live in Three Marsh Lane, Reydon, met in 1952 when they both worked for a company based in Edgware Road in London. Mr Cleave was an accountant and his future wife was a shorthand typist.
On their first date, they queued for more than four hours to see the body of King George IV in Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament during the official period of lying in state.
Their second date was to see a film of the late king’s funeral.
The couple were married less than a year later on December 19, 1953, at St Lawrence’s Parish Church in King’s Park in London.
They honeymooned in Canterbury before moving to Ghana, where Mr Cleave had accepted a job working as an accountant.
They relocated to Nigeria a year later when Mr Cleave was offered a post with African Timber and Plywood and lived there for 10 years.
After returning to England, the couple lived in Maidstone and at Bletchley, near Milton Keynes.
Mr Cleave’s parents had moved from London to Wenhaston after the war and, having got to know north Suffolk well during their visits, the couple retired to Reydon in 1993.
Mr Cleave, 85, said there was no secret to the success of their 60-year marriage and that he and his wife had simply “got on with things” and lived for the day rather than constantly looking to the future.
He added: “I wouldn’t have liked to not have met her. And I don’t know what I would do if I lost her.”
Mrs Cleave, 82, said: “We both have a sense of humour. You have to have that. Life would be very dull without a good laugh now and again.”
The couple have two children – David, 57, and Laura, 52, as well as two grandsons.
During their 60 years of marriage, Mr and Mrs Cleave have travelled all over the world together.
They celebrated their anniversary with a family party and by booking a cruise of the western Mediterranean.