Cromer neighbours celebrate double diamond wedding anniversary

Four neighbours from Cromer are celebrating a double diamond wedding anniversary after discovering their big day landed at the same time.

Married couples William and Doreen Atkins and Paul and Margaret Biddles, of Meadow Close, have been friends for three years and recently discovered they would share today's (March 29) occasion.

Mr Atkins, 87, affectionately known as 'Billy', and Mrs Atkins, 78, first met in the town when he plucked up the courage to ask her on a date.

'I was working in a shop at the time,' Mrs Atkins said.

'He came in and asked me if I would go to the pictures with him - and it just carried on for 60 years.'

Mr Atkins worked as a brick-layer in the north Norfolk area while Mrs Atkins ran the house and looked after their four children.

The couple also have six grandchildren, one great grandchild and another great-great grandchild.

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Mrs Atkins put the secret of their success to 'never going to sleep or work on an argument' and said one of the highlights of their marriage was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with a holiday.

The couple got married in Mrs Atkin's home village of Colby, near Aylsham, and moved to Cromer shortly after they wed.

When they arrived at Meadow Close, they soon became friends with the Biddles, who came to Norfolk more than 16-years ago from Broadstone in Leicestershire, and said it was 'a lovely surprise' to share their diamond wedding anniversary.

Mr Biddles, 84, said: 'It was nice finding out we could celebrate together.'

He met his wife when he sat beside her in the cinema in 1949 but Mrs Biddles, 78, said 'it wasn't love at first sight.'

Eventually the couple grew closer and Mr Biddles, a former fitter machinist, proposed by putting a ring on her finger and announcing they were engaged.

'He told me rather than asked me,' she said. 'But we made 60 years.'

The couple had three sons but one had passed away. They also have two granddaughters and three great grandchildren.

Mrs Biddles said her husband can 'sometimes be a bit of a nuisance'. He added they have lasted because they do not smoke or drink.

The couples will celebrate the occasion by holding a party for their family and friends on Sunday. Mr and Mrs Biddles will also spend a night in a local hotel and go out for dinner.

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