The wedding was a small family gathering, with one bridesmaid, the reception at a local pub and a trip back to mum and dad’s.

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But 60 years later, Ronald and Maureen Gowing, from Sprowston Road, Norwich, are celebrating their diamond anniversary surrounded by their friends and family.

The couple marked the big day on Wednesday with lunch with friends and held a party at Sprowston Cricket Ground on Saturday. Yesterday, they also renewed their wedding vows.

Sprowston-born Mr Gowing, 92, and Mrs Gowing, 85, spotted each other for the first time at the Sprowston British Legion in June 1951.

Despite their seven-year age gap the couple arranged to go on a date, although Mrs Gowing said that they did not go anywhere “very far”.

After three years, they married at St Mary and St Margaret Church in Sprowston.

The couple, who have received plenty of anniversary cards, moved into their house on Sprowston Road in 1957 – the same property in which they raised sons, Kevin, 56, and Stuart, 51, and still live today.

At the time, Mr Gowing, who originally worked as a caterer, was employed at Barnards Limited on Salhouse Road, a company which manufactured wire fencing products. He retired at the age of 63.

Mrs Gowing worked in various roles, including being a leaflet distributor. When her sons were born she stopped work temporarily to look after them.

The couple now have four grandchildren, Carla, Joe, Ben and Jessica, and a four-month-old great granddaughter, Libia.

Mrs Gowing, who loves to crochet, said that the most important thing she had learnt from marriage was “sharing and caring”.

She added: “We have always told our boys that – just to be happy and love each other.

“It is a long time but we have always been very happy and we have a lovely family, which is the most important thing really.”

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