Couple who ran popular city shop celebrate 70 years of marriage

Sidney and Rita Hatcher, who celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on March 30

Sidney and Rita Hatcher, who celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on March 30 - Credit: Hatcher Family

A couple who ran a popular shop in Norwich together are celebrating 70 years of happy marriage.

When Rita and Sidney Hatcher tied the knot, Queen Elizabeth had only been on the throne a matter of weeks and The Beatles were a decade off releasing their first hit single.

The couple met while Mrs Hatcher, then Rita Taylor, was holidaying with her family in Hemsby.

Sidney and Rita Hatcher, pictured on their wedding day on March 30, 1952

Sidney and Rita Hatcher, pictured on their wedding day on March 30, 1952 - Credit: Hatcher Family

During the break, teenaged Rita took a day trip to Great Yarmouth and Mr Hatcher's motorcycle caught her eye.

The pair then got talking and arranged a date, then a year later Mr Hatcher asked her to marry him.

Mrs Hatcher, now 87, said: "His entire family was planning to move to Australia, but Sid refused to leave if he couldn't take me. So they cancelled the move altogether and we decided to get married. My dad said he was happy for me to get married but wouldn't let me go to Australia."

Rita Hatcher with her father Ernest Taylor on her wedding day - March 30, 1952

Rita Hatcher with her father Ernest Taylor on her wedding day - March 30, 1952 - Credit: Hatcher Family

The big day came on March 30, 1952, with the couple enjoying a white wedding in more ways than one.

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"We got married at St Catherine's Church in Aylsham Road in Norwich," she said. "It was so snowy that Sid struggled to even make it there from his home in Gorleston."

Rita and Sidney Hatcher with family on their wedding day

Rita and Sidney Hatcher with family on their wedding day - Credit: Hatcher family

Their wedding reception was at Rita's draperie in Woodcock Road, the very same shop that was named by Mrs Hatcher's father Ernest in her honour.

In 1970, the shop was handed down to Mrs Hatcher after her father's death and the pair went on to run it together for 15 years - living above the shop for several years.

Rita's in Woodcock Road, Norwich, which was run by Mr and Mrs Hatcher

Rita's in Woodcock Road, Norwich, which was run by Mr and Mrs Hatcher - Credit: Hatcher family

They went on to have three children and now also have eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

When asked for the secret of a long happy marriage, Mrs Hatcher gave a simple, but effective one word answer: "Love."

She added: "Love one another and be true to each other - that is all there is to it."

Mrs Hatcher now lives in Hainford with her daughter Bridget, while Mr Hatcher, who is now 92, lives in Two Acres care home in Taverham.

The wedding of Rita and Sidney Hatcher, March 30, 1952

The wedding of Rita and Sidney Hatcher, March 30, 1952 - Credit: Hatcher family