Beccles couple celebrate diamond anniversary
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A pair of retired teachers who fell in love at the start of their careers are celebrating 60 years of marriage.
Denys and Patricia Simpson, of The Spinney, Beccles, married on August 17, 1957.
Originally hailing from Surrey and North London respectively, the couple met whilst living in digs in Great Yarmouth in 1954.
Mrs Simpson said: 'I remember we met on a Sunday afternoon - I can't remember our first date but I imagine it was to the pub the following week.'
After three years of courting the couple wed and moved to Hopton.1960 saw the couple welcome the birth of their first son Jeremy, followed by daughter Edwina in 1961 and finally John, in 1965.
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Their children have long been inspired by the couple's love.
Jeremy Simpson said: 'To reach 60 years of marriage in any age is a great achievement but particularly so in modern times.
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'My parents have set a wonderful example for me, my brother and my sister, and they still find time to support us and their grandchildren.'
The family relocated to Germany in 1963 when Mr Simpson took up a teaching post at the Rhine Army Headquarters in Rheindahlen.
In the summer holidays the family would tour Europe in a caravan, frequenting Norway, Sweden and Denmark and remember it as a 'very happy time'.
However, the lure of East Anglia was too great and they returned to Sudbury in 1975 before finally settling in Beccles in 1998.
Having between them taught students at Great Yarmouth High, Oriel Grammar School and East Norfolk Sixth Form College they said:
'There will be a lot of people in the area who may remember us - for good and ill.'
The pair have long enjoyed country walks together with Mr Simpson claiming they are currently doing their best to keep East Anglia's pubs open.
With Mrs Simpson currently recovering from a replacement knee operation they hope to once again be able to walk across the Southwold sea front as they have done many times before.
Reflecting on his marriage, Mr Simpson says he is 'astonished it has gone so quickly' and while gazing at his wife said 'but we have enjoyed ourselves.'
Couple's charity work
During their retirement the couple became heavily involved in The May Centre.
The Beccles-based charity provides a place for adults with disabilities to go and enjoy different activities in a relaxed and safe environment.
Mr Simpson recalls it was his wife who initially volunteered him for the charity.
'They were looking for a bus driver at the time and she told them that I would do it,' he said.
From this the couple's involvement grew. Mr Simpson is currently a trustee of the charity having also served as treasurer and chairman, while Mrs Simpson was an organiser for more than 10 years.
'It was so worthwhile,' Mr Simpson said. 'We enjoyed it, the people enjoyed it and they still do.
'It is very much a Beccles local charity and is ever so well supported by the town.'
For more information on the The May Centre visit www.maycentrebeccles.co.uk.