Beccles couple who met on paper and milk round celebrate 70 years of marriage

Dennis and Grace Hembling celebrate 70 years of marriage.
Picture: Nick Butcher.

Dennis and Grace Hembling celebrate 70 years of marriage. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A couple who met on their newspaper and milk rounds have celebrated their platinum anniversary.

Dennis and Grace Hembling on their wedding day. Picture: Courtesy of Karina Eagle.

Dennis and Grace Hembling on their wedding day. Picture: Courtesy of Karina Eagle. - Credit: Archant

Dennis Hembling, from Haddiscoe, completed his 22-mile newspaper round every day in Raveningham, Thurlton, Norton Subcourse and Toft Monks, and along the route would meet Beccles girl Grace delivering pints of milk.

They were married at St Mary's Church in Haddiscoe on June 14, 1947, with Mr Hembling's twin brother David as best man. Their reception was held at the Haddiscoe Crown.

Mr Hembling, now 92, was in the navy in the Second World War for two and a half years. He sailed in motor torpedo boats and escort vessels around the Mediterranean.

When he left the navy he worked at engineering firm Elliott and Garrood in Gosford Road, Beccles, for 20 years. He then became a postman and delivered to the villages around Beccles until his retirement aged 60.


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Mrs Hembling worked as a caretaker at Ravensmere Primary School for around 15 years, and Mr Hembling also helped her in the role when he retired.

Together they have two children, Liz and John, as well as five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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Mr Hembling is honorary vice president of Beccles Angling Club, and is the longest serving member having joined in 1947.

Together the couple enjoyed fishing, and had their own boat they would take out on the river.

Mrs Hembling, also 92, enjoyed bingo, dancing and knitting.

They also shared many holidays together with their family, and went to the same hotel in Alcudia for around 30 years.

The couple have lived together in Beccles all their married life. Mr Hembling still lives at home, but Mrs Hembling is cared for at Chevington Lodge residential care home in Bungay.

They marked their 70-year milestone on Wednesday with a party at the care home, surrounded by family. The couple were treated to two celebration cakes - one made by staff at the home and the other from their neighbours.

Mr Hembling said he couldn't remember them ever having an argument, although he said he did get told off if he didn't do the washing up.

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