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Couple to celebrate 70 years of marriage after not seeing each other since lockdown began

PUBLISHED: 14:37 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:37 20 May 2020

Vera and Raymond Wales who will celebrate 70 years of marriage on May 21 2020. Picture: Just Big Smiles Photography / Wales Family

Vera and Raymond Wales who will celebrate 70 years of marriage on May 21 2020. Picture: Just Big Smiles Photography / Wales Family

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A Norwich couple are preparing to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary - even though lockdown means they haven’t seen in each other in weeks.

Raymond and Vera Wales, who got got married at St Saviour's Church in Magdalen Street, Norwich, on May 21 1950. Picture: Wales FamilyRaymond and Vera Wales, who got got married at St Saviour's Church in Magdalen Street, Norwich, on May 21 1950. Picture: Wales Family

Raymond and Vera Wales first met when they both worked in the highways department of Norfolk County Council in 1944.

Their relationship got off to a rocky start when Mr Wales asked Mrs Wales out on a date and she turned him down, three times.

But when Mr Wales returned from National Service with the RAF, Mrs Wales invited him to a game of tennis, he said yes and before long they were engaged.

The couple got married on May 21, 1950, at St Saviours Church in Magdalen Street, Norwich.

L-R:  Mark, Alison, Stephen Wales with their parents Raymond and Vera Wales who are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary. Picture: Just Big Smiles PhotographyL-R: Mark, Alison, Stephen Wales with their parents Raymond and Vera Wales who are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary. Picture: Just Big Smiles Photography

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Mrs Wales left the county council to raise the couple’s three children as well as foster others, while Mr Wales stayed on to work in child care.

Upon Mr Wales’ retirement, the couple set up The Monday Club in Blofield Heath, which they ran for 13 years, becoming key members of the community. Their work was recognised in 2001, when they were invited to attend the Queen’s garden party.

Now, 70 years since they tied the knot, the couple are preparing to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary, even though social distancing means Mr Wales has not been able to see his wife, who lives in a care home, since lockdown began.

Vera and Raymond Wales who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary on May 21. Picture; Just Big Smiles PhotographyVera and Raymond Wales who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary on May 21. Picture; Just Big Smiles Photography

Instead, he has been writing Mrs Wales letters and has been permitted a special, socially distanced, visit to her home on Thursday to mark their anniversary.

Mr Wales said the secret to a long a marriage was “having disagreements from time to time” and “generally agreeing on most things”. He said: “I have been a very lucky man, I’m very fortunate. We have had a great married life, we have a wonderful family and I can’t really fault anything in my life.”

Stephen Wales, 68, the couple’s oldest son, who has been delivering his father’s letters to his mother, said his parents just gelled.

“It’s lovely to see, even now you can see how much they are in love with one another when they are with each other, and it’s quite remarkable when you see two 90-year-olds like that.”


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