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‘Say you love each other every day’: Couple celebrating 70 years of marriage get self-isolation surprise

PUBLISHED: 11:17 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:17 30 April 2020

Self isolating couple, Vera, 89, and Denis Chenery, 90, happily receive a surprise afternoon tea from the Weeting Community Support Group for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Self isolating couple, Vera, 89, and Denis Chenery, 90, happily receive a surprise afternoon tea from the Weeting Community Support Group for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Volunteers from a Norfolk village helped surprise a couple missing out on a party for their 70th wedding anniversary.

Self isolating couple, Vera  89, and Denis Chenery, 90, happily receive a surprise afternoon tea from the Weeting Community Support Group for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSelf isolating couple, Vera 89, and Denis Chenery, 90, happily receive a surprise afternoon tea from the Weeting Community Support Group for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Vera Chenery, 89, and husband Denis, 90, from Weeting near Brandon, were planning to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary with a family party.

Instead, stuck in self-isolation, the party was postponed and Mrs Chenery decided to post news of the event on social media asking for people locally to raise a glass to them – never thinking anything would come of it.

But the local volunteer group saw it and decided they couldn’t let the special occasion go unmarked. So they got together and arranged for an afternoon tea for two to be delivered to the couple at their bungalow in the village.

Self isolating couple, Vera,  89, and Denis Chenery, 90, happily receive a surprise afternoon tea from the Weeting Community Support Group for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSelf isolating couple, Vera, 89, and Denis Chenery, 90, happily receive a surprise afternoon tea from the Weeting Community Support Group for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A group of the volunteers then stood outside – keeping their social distance – to give the couple a round of applause when they came to the door.

Mrs Chenery said: “We were absolutely overwhelmed, I never expected anything like that.”

The Weeting Community Support Group who organised a surprise afternoon tea for self-isolating couple Vera and Denis Chenery for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Weeting Community Support Group who organised a surprise afternoon tea for self-isolating couple Vera and Denis Chenery for their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The couple, married in London in 1950, moved to Norfolk later in life, originally to Thetford, after spotting an advert on the Tube.

IN the capital the couple had lived in a high-rise.

“There were lots of power cuts at the time and so you didn’t dare use the lift in case you got stuck so you had to walk up all the floors and we got really fed up with it,” she said.

Both worked in factories in London, Mrs Chenery as a machinist making clothes and Mr Chenery made surgical instruments.

They met on a blind date orchestrated by her best friend. “I was on holiday and she wrote to me and said she’d met two men on Tottenham marshes, riding their bikes. One was called George and the other Denis. She said we could double up on a date but that I couldn’t have George.”

Although it didn’t work out with her friend and George, Mrs Chenery did end up marrying Denis. They had a church wedding followed by a honeymoon in a caravan near Southend. They then lived with her parents for 17 years, having a daughter.

“We are coping well in isolation, we order our food online and we have a very good neighbour, Georgina, who makes sure we have everything we need.” As for the secret of such a long and happy marriage? “Be sensible with money and don’t go to bed on an argument. Also tell each other you love each other every day.”

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