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Mildenhall couple's 60 years of married life to be celebrated with diamond party once restrictions ease

A couple have marked 60 years of marriage, citing ‘tolerance’ as the secret of their longevity.

Alan and Margaret Palmer, 84 and 82, who live in Mildenhall, met on the bus they both regularly caught to Bury St Edmunds back in 1959.

Alan, who was travelling from West Row to train as an accountant each day, went on to marry Margaret, who worked as a secretary, the following year.

Alan and Margaret are celebrating 60 years together (36259044)
Alan and Margaret are celebrating 60 years together (36259044)

They were married in St Mary’s Church in Mildenhall, where she grew up, on May 28, 1960, in the same church Margaret’s mother and grandmother had spoken their vows in.

When asked about the secret to a long-lasting marriage Alan said: “Tolerance, I would say. We’re both fairly strong characters and if you let things get out of hand, well, then it could easily.”

Explaining how they met, he said: “It was an old Eastern Counties double decker, and you sat on the same seat each day. Gradually, one thing led to another and we started courting. Once I’d qualified as an accountant, we saved a little money over the next year or so, bought a car between us and started sharing that to work. Before long we were having a bungalow built and then thought as we’ve got the jobs, the car and the bungalow is being built, it would be a good time to get married.”

The couple were married in 1960 (36467838)
The couple were married in 1960 (36467838)

Alan had just turned 24 at the time, and Margaret was just a couple of weeks short of turning 22.

After a honeymoon on the Isle of Wight, the newly weds moved in together in Mildenhall, where they have lived ever since.

The couple, who have one daughter, had planned an anniversary party before lockdown, but have had to postpone it until government guidance changes.

Alan said: “We’ve got the whole thing organised, and we’ve got the invites there, but of course with the current situation being what it is, the hotel we booked the party at wasn’t able to go ahead with it. So, we have all the invitations here ready to send out, just with the wrong dates. We’ll probably just alter them rather than having them reprinted.”

Commenting on the bond he shares with Margaret, he said: “Some married people say they get tired over the years but with us, it’s been the opposite. We’ve got stronger the longer we’ve gone on.”

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