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Couple who met on dodgems at Dereham Fair celebrate 60 years of marriage

PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 July 2020

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

A Norfolk couple who met on the dodgems at Dereham Fair 62 years ago, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

the pair got married in an intimate ceremony with close family at Dereham Registry Office on July 30, 1960, before heading to The Bull for a reception. Picture: Submittedthe pair got married in an intimate ceremony with close family at Dereham Registry Office on July 30, 1960, before heading to The Bull for a reception. Picture: Submitted

For Jean King, nee Webster, 79, and Graham King, 81, it was love at first sight when they saw each other from their bumper cars.

For him it was her smile, and for her his RAF uniform that attracted them to each other in a fairground on Dereham Rec back in September 1958.

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

“When I saw her I stayed in one place,” Mr King said. “I was based in Swanton Morley so me and some friends went to the funfair.

“I remember her smile, after that I took her home on my scooter and we just kept seeing each other.”

the pair got married in an intimate ceremony with close family at Dereham Registry Office on July 30, 1960, before heading to The Bull for a reception. Picture: Submittedthe pair got married in an intimate ceremony with close family at Dereham Registry Office on July 30, 1960, before heading to The Bull for a reception. Picture: Submitted

After two years of ‘courting’ and a quaint proposal in Great Yarmouth, the pair got married in an intimate ceremony with close family at Dereham Registry Office on July 30, 1960, before heading to The Bull for a reception.

That evening the couple got on a train to start their life in St Albans, where Mr King was born.

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

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“There was more work in St Albans which is the main reason why we moved,” Mrs King said. “It’s where we had our two children, Sarah and Michael, and where we spent most of our married life.

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

“I worked in Marconi’s and Graham worked for BT. We came back to Norfolk when we had retired.”

When asked about the secret to a 60 year marriage, the couple spoke of their focus for their own relationship.

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Mr King said: “We didn’t look at what everybody else was doing, if a couple we knew bought a new car - we didn’t go and get one just because.

“We were and still are just focused on our own marriage.”

Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jean and Graham King celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Mrs King added: “Of course we have had ups and downs and our fair share of disagreements but we sit down, talk everything through and come to an amicable agreement.”

To celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, the pair were planning a night away and a nice dinner, but due to coronavirus restrictions, this ended up falling through.

Instead, their daughter has organised a special afternoon tea for the couple which will see all eight of their grandchildren celebrating with them, either in person or over Zoom.

They are also due to get a card from The Queen, congratulating them for their achievement.


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