60 years of married life started as a blind date for Sheringham’s diamond pair

Sylvia and Peter Francis have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: ARCHANT

Sylvia and Peter Francis have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A devoted couple who met on a blind date have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Sylvia and Peter Francis on their wedding day in 1956. Picture: SYLVIA & PETER FRANCIS

Sylvia and Peter Francis on their wedding day in 1956. Picture: SYLVIA & PETER FRANCIS - Credit: Archant

It was a case of second impressions count for Sylvia and Peter Francis after their initial encounter in 1953.

Mrs Francis took some persuading before agreeing to accompany her suitor to a dance in Norwich, but it proved to be a night to remember when she was swept off her feet.

Following a three-year courtship they tied the knot at North Walsham register office on December 8, 1956. The couple have spent their married life in Mrs Francis's home town Sheringham.

Mr Francis worked as a mechanic in two local garages before running his own engineering workshop in Briston for 25 years.

His wife spent the first six years of marriage working for Sheringham shoe manufacturers Edwards and Holmes before having two children, Dawn and Mark. Granddaughter Jess was born in 1999.

'Our first date was with mutual friends and was just after the 1953 floods, so we drove along the Norfolk coast to take a look,' recalled Mrs Francis.

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'I remember Peter wearing a cream jacket and I had a green mac on.'

She added: 'Although he was smitten straight away, second impressions counted for me, I had to think about another date as I did not want to appear too keen. Then we went to the dance in Norwich and everything just clicked.'

The couple, who share a thirst for adventure, have spent their retirement years exploring the globe. 'Our travels started as a result of my interest in the ancient world,' explained Mr Francis.

'We visited the pyramids, classical sites in Greece and Italy and Machu Picchu in Peru. I went whitewater rafting on the Zambezi when I was in my 70s and drove round Australia at the age of 82.'

Mrs Francis said: 'You need commitment for a long marriage. We have got grumpier in old age, but looking back have lots of happy memories.'

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