A meeting in a Morley pub in March 1957 led to a love story that has spanned six decades for one Stowmarket couple.
Colin and Jean Hawkins, both 81, celebrated their diamond wedding yesterday, with Colin recalling their first encounter.
“We met on the last day in March 1957. I remember, as I thought to myself the following day ‘had I been April fooled’,” said Colin.
“Eleven months and a week later we were married. It was love at first sight from my point of view.”
After Colin joined the prison service in 1968 the family moved around the country with his career, including periods in Durham, Highpoint (when they lived in Thurston) and Surbiton.
On Colin’s retirement in 1996, he told Jean she could choose where they settled.
“In the short window we had lived in Thurston our daughter Jill met her intended and they eventually settled in Stowmarket,” said Colin.
“When I retired it was quite simple – I said to my wife ‘you moved for me, so you decide where to go now’, knowing full well where she would choose. And that’s why we ended up in Stowmarket.”
The couple also have a son, Mark, two granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.
The couple have been actively involved in Stowmarket Royal British Legion, with Colin being county chairman more than once. He was also charity clerk for Stowmarket Relief Trust for 17 years.
And the secret to their marital happiness? It is quite simple: “I love her,” said Colin.
Colin and Jean were due to be visited by Stowmarket Mayor on their anniversary yesterday and have also planned a family lunch at Stowmarket Royal British Legion this weekend.