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Blogger behind love letters that started 54-year marriage starts new chapter

PUBLISHED: 14:31 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 29 October 2019

Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. Here she is looking through the letters. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. Here she is looking through the letters. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Archant

When Maureen Blake discovered a collection of letters hidden away in a shoe box in her loft, she never dreamed that they would be read by thousands of people across the globe.

Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. This is one of the photos Mr Blake sent to Mrs Blake during their correspondence in 1961. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKEMaureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. This is one of the photos Mr Blake sent to Mrs Blake during their correspondence in 1961. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKE

But that's exactly what happened after the 75-year-old decided to transform love letters, sent between herself and her late husband Alan during the sixties, into a blog.

Earlier this year, Mrs Blake, of Burgh Lane, Mattishall, near Dereham, decided to share the heart-warming story to give a fascinating insight into life in an endearing era of history.

She said: "I never could have imagined it would be what it has become."

The blog, entitled Alamore, features edited versions of the letters, with diary extracts, photographs and music from the era, and were published in "real time".

Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. This is one of the photos Mrs Blake sent to Mr Blake during their correspondence. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKEMaureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. This is one of the photos Mrs Blake sent to Mr Blake during their correspondence. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKE

They span over an eight-month period and were written between the young lovers after they met at a dance at the Ilford Palais in East London, in January 1961. Five days later, Mr Blake returned to Cyprus where he was stationed with the RAF, until he returned in the August.

The couple married in May 1963 and lived in Essex for 40 years with their two sons before moving to Norfolk in 2003. Sadly Alan died aged 78 in 2018.

The grandmother-of-five described the letters as an "invaluable source material which covered social attitudes of the time together with national and international events" - including the first man in space and the Kuwait emergency.

Mrs Blake praised her grandchildren, especially granddaughters Beth and Abigail, for their help.

Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. This is one of the photos Mr Blake sent to Mrs Blake during their correspondence in 1961. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKEMaureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. This is one of the photos Mr Blake sent to Mrs Blake during their correspondence in 1961. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKE

"Writing the blog has become such a big part of my life now," she said. "It has been an amazing opportunity getting to work on a project with my grandchildren - how many grandparents can say that?"

Alamore was also listed as an Editor's Pick on Wordpress and saw more than 2,160 people from across nine countries view it in just one day.

Following on from that success, she is turning her attention to another blog which will focus on letters to her Swedish pen pal, under the pseudonym Lena, who she started writing to when they were both aged 13. Lena still lives in Sweden and the pair remain friends and email regularly.

- To find out more about Alamore or to enquire about the new blog, visit the website here .

Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. Mr and Mrs Blake on their wedding day in May 1963. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKEMaureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. Mr and Mrs Blake on their wedding day in May 1963. Picture: MAUREEN BLAKE

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Maureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. The box of letters kept by Mrs Blake. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPMaureen Blake, of Mattishall, near Dereham, has launched a blog to publish letters her and her husband Alan wrote to each other in the sixties. The box of letters kept by Mrs Blake. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

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