Couple who met at fairground celebrate 70 years of marriage in Lowestoft

George and Phyllis Nutburn celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

George and Phyllis Nutburn celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

As George and Phyllis Nutburn celebrated 70 years of marriage, they looked back on one piece of important advice that set them along the way.

George and Phyllis Nutburn with their family at the Hotel Victoria. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

George and Phyllis Nutburn with their family at the Hotel Victoria. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It was from George's father who, after meeting Phyllis for the first time back in the 1940s, told his son: 'If you have got any sense, you will marry that girl'.

And that is exactly what Mr Nutburn, now 91, did a few years later after meeting his wife-to-be on the bumper cars at a fun fair.

Mrs Nutburn, also 91, was born and raised in Lowestoft but was evacuated to Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, in the Second World War.

Purely by chance Mr Nutburn – who was born in Southampton and had taken part in the D-Day landings as part of the 115 Royal Armoured Corps – was sent to Finedon, about two miles from Irthlingborough to recuperate from diesel poisoning.

George and Phyllis Nutburn got married in 1946. Picture: Supplied

George and Phyllis Nutburn got married in 1946. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Nick Butcher


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It was there where he saw the future Mrs Nutburn at a fairground.

The pair wrote to each other regularly and Mr Nutburn said: 'The first time I took her to my family in Southampton, my father said: 'If you have got any sense you'll marry that girl.'

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The pair decided to return to Lowestoft to tie the knot at the old Methodist church in 1946.

But in an extraordinary turn of events, Mr Nutburn very nearly didn't make the wedding after being delayed by bad weather on a ferry crossing.

'I ended up coming from London to Lowestoft on the milk train at about 2am and my sister came on the newspaper train,' he said.

'We were worried about missing the wedding but we made it, and then we went for a short break back in Southampton. We still have a copy of the bill for the reception; it was less than £10.'

After they married, they returned to Southampton where Mr Nutburn had a number of jobs including an aircraft technician, working at a glass company and site manager at a chemical works.

He took early retirement and the pair returned to Lowestoft in 1981 to be close to his wife's family. They have lived in Beccles Road since then.

'I am really fortunate to have Phyllis and I have been really lucky,' Mr Nutburn added.

'It was the best deal I have ever made and it is important that we have respect for one another and maintain our manners.'

The couple celebrated their special day with a small group lunch at the Victoria Hotel organised by their eldest son.

Are you celebrating a special anniversary? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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