Couple who met on train home from evening out mark 70 years married

Roy and June Willimott, of Somerleyton, celebrated their platinum wedding on Wednesday, December 16.

Roy and June Willimott, of Somerleyton, celebrated their platinum wedding on Wednesday, December 16. Picture: The Willimott family - Credit: The Willimott family

It was a chance encounter on the train home after an evening out at the speedway.

And now, more than 70 years later, a couple from Somerleyton, near Lowestoft, have marked a special anniversary.

Roy and June Willimott, of Savill Lea, The Street, Somerleyton, celebrated their platinum wedding last Wednesday, December 16 after marrying at Beighton church, near Acle, in 1950.

Roy and June Willimott, of  The Street, Somerleyton celebrated their platinum wedding last Wednesday, December 16 after...

Roy and June Willimott, of The Street, Somerleyton celebrated their platinum wedding last Wednesday, December 16 after marrying at Beighton church, near Acle, in 1950. The couple on their wedding day. Picture: The Willimott family - Credit: The Willimott family

Recalling how she first met her husband-to-be in around 1947, Mrs Willimott, 89, said: "I was on my way home from the speedway at Norwich, when I sat near Roy on the train home and we got talking.

“We had both been to the speedway and we found out that we only lived two or three miles away from one another - and that was that.”

The couple moved to Mattishall, near Dereham, but with Mr Willimott employed as a farmworker they had soon moved to St Olaves.

In the mid 1950s the couple moved to Somerleyton, where they have remained ever since.

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Mr Willimott, 93, worked as a gamekeeper on the Somerleyton estate, and was soon promoted to head gamekeeper, remaining there until he retired 28 years ago.

The couple have three children Theresa, Pat and Julian.

They also have seven grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

So what is the secret of their successful 70 years of marriage?

Mr Willimott said: "Tolerance."

Mrs Willimott added: "A little give and take - he gives I take!"

With the family proud of the couple's platinum wedding achievement, they have vowed to hold special celebrations next year amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

The couple's son, Julian Willimott, said: "Obviously this year's celebrations have been muted because of the pandemic but next summer a large family get together is being planned for a double celebration of the platinum wedding anniversary and my mother's 90th birthday in June.

"The big family get together next year will also coincide with my sister Patricia coming home from Melbourne, Australia."

Daughter Pat had previously surprised her family a decade ago, as she travelled over from Australia for the diamond wedding anniversary celebrations.

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