Hellesdon couple still going strong after 70 years of marriage

A birthday trip to the cinema was the first step towards 70 years of marriage for a Hellesdon couple.

A birthday trip to the cinema was the first step towards 70 years of marriage for a Hellesdon couple.

Joe and Eileen Harvey celebrated their platinum anniversary yesterday with more than 80 friends and family at the Hellesdon Friendship Club they have attended for more than 25 years.

And the two 89-year-olds revealed the secret to making it to their eighth decade of marriage: taking on the tough times together.

'You have to talk things through, said Mr Harvey. 'Everyone has their problems, and we sometimes disagree, but we are lucky to have found someone on the same wavelength.'

Mrs Harvey said: 'You can't just run to mother or off with someone else.

'When I married him I promised to obey him,' she added. 'And I've being doing it ever since.'

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After meeting at a friend's house, Mr Harvey invited his future wife to see a film at the city's Carlton cinema on her 18th birthday, and they married just over a year later, on January 3, 1942.

Mr Harvey, an RAF rear gunner based at RAF Coltishall, should have been deployed in the Second World War but a medical problem prevented him and the couple moved to Scotland when he took a job in the air-sea rescue.

A stint in the Isle of Man followed before the Mrs Harvey became pregnant with their first child, Sandra, in 1944, and they returned to Hethersett.

A son, Stephen, was born in 1951, shortly after Mr Harvey left the RAF to become a wholesale chemist. Mr Harvey worked in Magdalen Street until his retirement, while Mrs Harvey was a cook at Norwich Union for 17 years.

For the past 40 years, the couple, who have five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, have lived in Neylond Crescent in Hellesdon, and they marked their anniversary with a party and live music at Hellesdon Community Centre.

Club president Brian Bush praised them for being 'of outstanding lovely nature and personality', and Broadland District Council chairman Claudette Bannock presented a bouquet.

Mrs Harvey added: 'We have just been overwhelmed by everyone's kindness – we have wonderful family and friends. We are very lucky.'

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