Occold couple celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

A Suffolk husband and wife are today celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Diamond wedding couple, Stanley and Molly Wattan have lived in Occold, near Eye, since returning from their honeymoon in November 1952.

The pair met in Wickford, Essex, and married at the church in nearby Downham, where the ceremony was slightly delayed by the absence of the vicar, who had forgotten the wedding and was found busily tending his garden.

After the wedding, the newly-weds left to spend a week in Torquay before beginning married life in Suffolk.

Mr and Mrs Wattan moved into a caravan on a two-acre plot of farmland, where they would soon build the family home they have extended and built on over time and remain in today.

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Mrs Wattan, nee Mandall, now 80, was initially unsure of her new surroundings. 'It was nothing like the town I had come from, which was close to London,' she said. 'But we made a life here and are lucky to be somewhere so unspoilt.'

Mr Wattan, now 84, made a career in determining the sex of chicks and other poultry at hatcheries across the region, and was awarded the MBE for services to his profession in 1987.

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The Wattans have two sons, David, 55, and Adrian, 52, who now takes care of the family business, employing 24 people.

Mrs Wattan believes there is no special secret to staying married for so long, but advocates maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

She said: 'We have always worked hard and Stanley's hours were unsociable at times but we stuck at it and have been very lucky to enjoy a good social life.'

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