Diamond couple dedicated years to charity groups in Beccles

Diamond wedding couple Norman and Gillian Wales from Beccles.

Diamond wedding couple Norman and Gillian Wales from Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A couple who devoted their time to numerous charity groups and organisations in Beccles have celebrated their diamond anniversary.

Diamond wedding couple Norman and Gillian Wales from Beccles.

Diamond wedding couple Norman and Gillian Wales from Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Norman and Gillian Wales both grew up in Norwich, with Mrs Wales relocating to the city with her mother from Cheltenham during the Second World War.

They met at Norwich Speedway in 1955, the year after Mrs Wales had won the title of Norwich Speedway Queen.

They were married at St Margaret's Church in Old Catton on June 8, 1957.

Together they ran a fish and chip shop in Woodcock Road in Norwich for a few years, and were out of business for a couple of months after a fire damaged the building.

Diamond wedding couple Norman and Gillian Wales from Beccles.

Diamond wedding couple Norman and Gillian Wales from Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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Mr Wales, now 82, completed his National Service in the air force, and went on to work for Norwich Building Society and then Prudential, ending as an area manager before taking early retirement due to his health.

Mrs Wales, now 80, worked at the former Garlands department store in Norwich and then International Stores in Beccles, where Superdrug is now based.

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In 1960 the couple moved to Beccles and three weeks later they had the unexpected arrival of twin daughters.

Mrs Wales said: 'I didn't know I was having twins until they were born because there weren't any scans in my day. It was a very big shock, especially for Norman!'

They also have four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who they enjoy spending time with.

Mr Wales has spent around 30 years driving the May Centre bus in Beccles, which provides a meeting place for adults with disabilities.

He said: 'We used to go to all the different functions and Ken Markland who started the May Centre was a good friend of ours and I got involved that way.

'Everybody used to pull together for all the different charities.'

Mr Norman was also an early members of the Beccles RAFA club, and was treasurer for 10 years of the old Beccles Twinning group.

The couple marked 60 years of marriage yesterday, and will be celebrating with family and friends at the Waveney House Hotel in Beccles tomorrow.

Mrs Norman said: 'Our motto has always been never go to bed on an argument because it is still there in the morning.'

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