Wymondham couple celebrate 70 years of marriage

Treasured memories of a wonderful life together were shared with friends and family as a Wymondham couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Fred and Joan Jeffrey welcomed well-wishers into their Warwick Drive home on Tuesday - with some even flying all the way from Spain for the special occasion.

Town Mayor Neil Ward was one in a long line of people to present the platinum pair with flowers, while they also received dozens of cards including one from the Queen.

Mr Jeffrey, said the key to a long-lasting marriage was never to go to bed on an argument.

'Don't row. We do argue at times but that is all. We never shout at each other, You agree to disagree and work it out,' he said.

Before retiring to Brandon in 1985 and then moving to Wymondham 12 years ago, the Londoners were used to rubbing shoulders with the capital's aristocracy and famous politicians having worked for more than a decade for Lord and Lady Blakenham at Holland Park.

The couple took up posts as butler, chauffeur, cook and housekeeper in 1974 and developed a close relationship with their titled bosses which continued until their deaths. Lady Blakenham even helped them with the purchase of their Brandon home.

Most Read

Mr Jeffrey said: 'They were the best 11 years of our working life. He had just retired as chairman of the Conservative party and everyone who came to the door was a Lord and Lady but we were always Joan and Fred to them. They were very kind.'

Mr Jeffrey, 91, was born in Hammersmith and had two brothers and two sisters, while Mrs Jeffrey, 90, was born in Acton and was the youngest of 15 children.

The pair met while working at a cardboard box factory in London and were married on November 22, 1941.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Jeffrey joined the RAF Regiment and spent four years travelling through India and serving in Burma alongside Lord Mountbatten. His courage was recognised with the Burma Star.

Meanwhile Mrs Jeffrey packed bullets and worked in an aircraft factory. She also gave birth to their son Jim.

Following the war, Mr Jeffrey gained promotions in a series of cardboard box factories in London and Mrs Jeffrey did some accounting at the Post Office's headquarters in Wimbledon.

The couple also ran their own grocery store in Epsom Common before taking up their new roles at Holland Park.

They have five grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter