Entire street applauds couple celebrating 70th anniversary in lockdown
PUBLISHED: 11:30 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:52 30 April 2020
A couple were joined in celebrating 70 long and happy years of marriage by their entire street of neighbours.
Percy Harris and his wife Margarey were hoping to celebrate their platinum anniversary with all of their family and friends until the celebration had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The Beccles couple expected to just spend the special day with each other, but were shocked when neighbours had organised a special surprise in commemoration of their marriage.
Hollie Pigney, a neighbour of the Harris’, organised for a card to be signed by every neighbour on their street and the town mayor, alongside a moment of applause when the card was delivered.
Town mayor Andrea Carr said: “I posted the letter through the door, rang the doorbell and stood back while they came out with their daughter to all the neighbours cheering and clapping for them. It was an incredibly emotional moment.”
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Neighbour Hollie Pigney had also organised for the song played during the Harris’ first dance to be played.
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She said: “It wasn’t something I could let go unrecognised as they are amazing neighbours and treat my children like family with birthday and holiday gifts.”
Mr and Mrs Harris first met in 1945 as pen pals, while Percy was a member of the Royal Signals based in Berlin and Margarey was working office jobs in London.
They wrote to one another for a year, and met at the next time Percy was granted leave.
“It was love at first sight,” Percy said. “We went for a walk and lunch with my aunt followed by a drink in the village inn - the first time Margarey visited a public house.”
Margarey added: “We got on so well, but my shoes were ruined on our walk. Percy visited me in Edmonton the following week and we continued to court for two years.”
The couple married on April 15, 1950 at St Mary’s Church in Welwyn.
“We still laugh as my father walked me up the aisle on the wrong side so Percy stood at the alter next to his father-in-law.”
Having lived all over the UK, the couple settled in Beccles in 1989 where they have been active volunteers at the Waveney Centre.
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