When the teenage Doreen Hippisley met Eddie Smith at a youth club she knew he was the man she wanted to walk her home.

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And her choice has proved to be the right one as the Hethersett couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary yesterday.

The 14-year-old was visiting a youth club in her home city of Bristol with friends when she got talking to Mr Smith, now 82, and insisted that he took her home.

She said: “I asked him to take me home because I did not want someone else walking me home. We just got friendly and realised we really liked one another and that was the start of it.”

Romance blossomed after they met at the club in December 1946 and
they made regular visits to the cinema together, though Mrs Smith, 81 said young couples had to
make their own entertainment
back then as travelling around was quite difficult. They married at St Anne’s Parish Church in Bristol on February 6, 1954 and continued
living in Bristol, where Mr Smith worked for the National Smelting Company, while his wife was a
shorthand typist at St Anne’s Board Mills.

She left her job and stayed at home while raising the couple’s daughter Catherine, 46, while Mr Smith retired in 1987.

They moved to Hethersett 11 years ago to be nearer their family and now live in Haconsfield.

To celebrate their big
anniversary, they had a meal together at the Park Farm Hotel in
Hethersett yesterday and are due to have a big family meal at the same venue tomorrow, where they will be joined by their daughter and grandchildren Alex and Cameron Heywood, 18 and 16 respectively.

Describing the secret to a long marriage, Mrs Smith said: “You not only love one another, but you have to be friends and also respect one another’s opinions.

“I think too often couples now are not prepared to stick it out. One row and they are gone.”

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