It’s double diamond delight for Norfolk couples

Celebrating a diamond wedding is an event that not many people get to enjoy, but two couples from a small village south of Norwich did so on the same day this week.

Jack and Betty Kleeman and Ken and Julie Baish are neighbours in the village of Ashby St Mary, near Poringland, where both celebrated 60 years of marriage on Thursday.

Ken, 81, and Julie, 80, have lived on Mill Road in Ashby St Mary for 21 years while Jack, 84, and Betty, 83, have lived in the village for 46 years.

Mr and Mrs Baish have three children - Richard, Susan and Allison - as well as eight grandchildren.

They met the Kleemans just a year after moving to Ashby St Mary in 1990 when both couples went separately to the Stubbs Farm restaurant near Hales.

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They soon got talking when they discovered they were both celebrating their wedding anniversary, only to find they were both celebrating their 40th wedding anniversaries, and have been friends ever since.

Mr Baish recalled: 'We went out for lunch one day 20 years ago at the same restaurant, got talking, and it all started from there.'

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Mr and Mrs Kleeman have two children, Roxanne and John, who were both born in Canada during a 14-year spell in North America that ended when they moved home to Norfolk in 1964.

When asked what the secret is to a 60-year marriage, Mrs Kleeman simply replied: 'I suppose we just keep jogging along really. We argue sometimes but we settle it down and keep jogging along, and our children have always helped by bringing a lot of happiness into the family.'

Are you celebrating an unusual anniversary? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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