Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich share diamond wedding celebrations with three couples

Three Norwich couples celebrated their diamond wedding anniversaries on the same day last week, in the company of the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich.

On Thursday Lord Mayor, Jenny Lay, and Sheriff, Chris Higgins, presented each couple with a bouquet of flowers to mark their special days.

The diamond couples were Peter and Brenda Dawson from Bowthorpe, Fred and Edna Fitch of Heartsease and Len and Beryl Watkins, who live in Eaton.

Mr and Mrs Watkins live on Welsford Road and married at St Mary's Church, in Wimbledon, after first meeting at Southampton University in 1947.

They moved to Norwich in 1960 and Mr Watkins, now aged 84, was a science teacher at the Hewett School for 26 years. Mrs Watkins, 83, taught economic geography at City College Norwich, before joining the Inland Revenue, where she worked for 20 years.

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Since her retirement she has been a Blue Badge Guide and is still a regular volunteer with the Norfolk Museum Service. They have two children, Brian and Bridget, and two grandchildren. Mrs Watkins said the secret to a happy marriage was 'love, tolerance, kindness and patience'.

Mr and Mrs Fitch, are both 86. Fred is an Essex boy but Edna has lived in Norwich all her life.

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Mr Fitch is a D-day veteran and after leaving the Marines he travelled a lot as he was unable to settle. That was until he came to Norwich and lodged with an aunt of his future wife's, and as he said: 'The rest, as they say, is history.'

The couple knew each other for 12 months before they got married. Mrs Fitch worked most of her life at Start Rite, while also bringing up their two children, a son and daughter. Their family now also includes four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mr Fitch was working in Norwich for a London telecommunications company when he met Mrs Fitch and for the last 20 years has volunteered for the Royal Marines Association raising some �23,000.

The secret of a happy marriage, he said, was: 'Give and take. It's a combined thing, everyone has their ups and downs but you work through things.'

Mr and Mrs Dawson married at St Mary's, opposite Earlham Park, and have lived in Norwich all their lives. Mr Dawson worked for about 20 years at Sunshine Bakeries, in Mile Cross, and then went on to work for a Norwich brewery where he stayed until his retirement. They have two sons, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

- Do you know someone who will be celebrating a landmark anniversary soon? Contact Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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