Couple celebrate platinum wedding in Acle

It was far from a serene start to married life - with their home being damaged in bombing raids three times during the blitz.

Tom and Phylis Buckley somehow emerged unscathed from those wartime episodes in Essex and a lifetime of colourful memories later were yesterday celebrating their platinum wedding at Herondale care home in Bridewell Lane, Acle.

Tom, 92, and Phylis, 90, who retired to Horning in the 1970s, enjoyed a service conducted by Acle rector, the Rev Martin Greenland, with hymns that had featured on their wedding day - including The King of Love My Shepherd Is - being played by church organist Brian Bemment.

Friends came from Norfolk and beyond for a party with champagne and cake. The couple were showered with good luck messages, including some from Tom's former Metropolitan Police colleagues.

Phylis, who was thrilled to receive a congratulatory telegram from the Queen, said a good sense of humour - and 'laughing together' - had carried them through 70 years.

Tom, who served in the police for 29 years, reaching the rank of detective chief inspector, added with a twinkle in his eye: 'Tolerance has also been important - on my part.'

The author of a book of police anecdotes, Once a Copper, Always a Copper, he confessed that his busy CID career had taken over their life.

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'Phylis virtually had to bring up our daughters on her own. She would guess how many hours I was late home by the number of rings on the plate,' he said.

Tom still vividly recalls how he met Phylis during a cricket match. He was batting well when she came through the gate at the ground - but his concentration broken, he was promptly out next ball.

After moving to Horning, Tom worked as group manager for Bernard Matthews for a number of years, designing his security system.

The couple's elder daughter Lesley Abigail, 67, lives close by in Acle; younger daughter Denise Austin, 64, travelled from her home in Essex. They have three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.

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