Laughter is key say couple celebrating 65 years of marriage

Hethersett couple Thelma and David Matthews. Picture: AMANDA ULRICH

Hethersett couple Thelma and David Matthews. Picture: AMANDA ULRICH - Credit: Archant

For Thelma and David Matthews, a Hethersett couple who are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary on September 6, the key to a long marriage is simple.

'We laugh a lot. We laugh a lot together and then we laugh at each other,' Mrs Matthews, 86, said.

'I did joke that when she got to be 40 years old I was going to change her for two 20's, but I couldn't find the two 20's,' Mr Matthews, 85, said.

'He couldn't find anyone else to have him, is what he really means,' Mrs Matthews added.

The two kindred spirits met in Norwich in 1951 and enjoyed each other's company right from the start.

'I worked as a hairdresser with his sister. There were other brothers in the family and she always used to say: 'David is the best one.' That was it. I went about through his sister and then I got him,' Mrs Matthews said.

'She liked me,' Mr Matthews said, cutting in.

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Decades later, the couple has created a life for themselves in Norwich. Over the years they've lived in the city they've witnessed big changes, starting with the bombings during the Second World War. Mrs Matthews even remembers one bomb demolishing her school.

Mr Matthews said: 'My biggest regret is that I was too young during the war to enlist. I would go down to the pubs all the time and talk to the servicemen. When I was old enough I finally joined the RAF.'

Before retirement, Mrs Matthews continued to take on shifts as a hairdresser and do charity work, while Mr Matthews worked for the RAF for total of eight years and then took on a local sales position for L'Oreal.

They raised their daughter, Ann, in Norfolk and now have two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

'You can talk the woman out of Norfolk, but you can't take the Norfolk out of the woman, and that's very true about Thelma,' Mr Matthews said.

Mr and Mrs Matthews are truly a living example of the phrase 'two sides of the same coin.'

'My favourite thing about her is that she's stubborn – stubborn and positive. She's a permanent optimist,' Mr Matthews said.

'And he's not pessimistic but more realistic; he plans everything for us. We balance each other out,' Mrs Matthews said.

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