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Thetford couple celebrate 75 years of marriage

PUBLISHED: 16:04 01 January 2012

Emma and Donald Wilding at their anniversary celebrations

Emma and Donald Wilding at their anniversary celebrations

Archant

Seventy-five years ago the world was a very different place, but one couple has weathered the decades to celebrate a very special anniversary.

Emma and Donald Wilding, both now in their 90s, were keen dancers until only recently, rode a motorbike until retirement and lived through the blitz.

And on Boxing Day, the Thetford couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary with a meal for family and friends at the Bell Hotel in the town. Mrs Wilding, 96, who lives with her husband, 98, at Laburnum Grove in Thetford, said: “In those days most people got married on boxing day or Christmas day.

“Everybody has said they just can’t believe it’s been 75 years - I’ve got so many flowers, they’re everywhere. We’re quite happy about it but it makes you think - it’s a long time.”

Mrs Wilding was 16 when she met her future husband at a YMCA club in Romford, Essex. They began regularly dancing together and made their vows at Holy Cross Church in Horchurch in Essex five years later.

“We always went dancing a lot so we danced together for decades until not so long ago,” she said. “I just met him and we both liked each other and that’s how we’ve got on all this time.”

The couple lived in Romford in the early days of their marriage and into the second world war.

During this time Mr Wilding worked away from home repairing the aerodrome runways at Halesworth, Suffolk, while Mrs Wilding looked after their newborn son, David.

She added: “We used to have to go out as much as we could because of the shrapnel and we spent a lot of time down in the neighbour’s shelter.

“We used to live near quite a lot of guns so the windows used to be blown out.

She went on: “We’ve had a pretty good life together. We’ve always got on and we’ve never had any intention of splitting up. These days people don’t stay together very long.

“I think we also don’t let things carry on if we have words - some people carry it on for days and weeks when it’s over and done with. If you have words make up by the next morning before work.”

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