Couple celebrate platinum wedding

IN a modern world of marital breakdown and divorce, the marriage of Herbie and Amy Havers stands out - as a symbol of undying love as well as longevity.

By David Green

IN a modern world of marital breakdown and divorce, the marriage of Herbie and Amy Havers stands out - as a symbol of undying love as well as longevity.

The couple, who met when they were pupils at a village school 85 years ago and later became sweethearts, are today celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Despite breaking a hip when he fell off his bicycle eight years ago, Mr Havers, 94, remains fairly fit and active although his wife, 92, suffers from hearing and sight problems.

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The couple spent their early married life at Home Farm, Hoxne, near Eye, where - in 1992 - the famous hoard of Roman treasure was discovered.

But Mr Havers still has no regrets about missing out on part of the £1.75 million fortune. “I would rather earn money than have it given to me,” he said.

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For the past 62 years he and his wife have lived at Oak Farm, Worlingworth, and have wonderful memories of their lives together.

“I think you have to work at marriage - you have to keep in touch with each other's feelings,” Mr Havers said.

He and his future wife, Amy Driver, met when they were pupils at Occold Primary School.

“We liked each other but it was some years later that we became serious sweethearts,” said Mr Havers who was born at Occold.

He remembers the former school head once saying: “All Herbie Havers wants is a two horse farm and Amy Driver.”

Mrs Havers, who was born at Easton, still has the present list from their wedding. Alongside the usual domestic paraphernalia, including chamber pots, are items for use on the farm - wagon ropes, rakes, milk pails, a bushel skep and a pig!

The couple unfortunately lost a son, David, two years ago but still have five other children together with 12 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Most of them live in the same area of Suffolk and work in farming.

Mr Havers reads avidly each day, starting with the East Anglian Daily Times before poring over war books and, each night in bed, the bible.

He has read the EADT six days a week for 78 years - apart from brief holidays.

“I remember us boys used to try to sneak a look at the paper but my father was very strict and when he finished reading it he used to sit on it. One day he actually tore a page out in case we should read it - we never did know what it was all about,” he said.

Mr Havers has just successfully applied for a three-year extension to his driving licence. He has never taken a test because he was already driving well before tests were introduced.

He has an open-top MG which he last drove in the summer but is more often seen in his BMW. To get around the farmyard he uses a battery-driven buggy.

Although his son, Alan, now runs the farm, Mr Havers takes a keen interest in the business, keeping on eye on the VAT and other accounts.

Each day he takes a rainfall reading for the Met Office. His has kept up a daily diary of life on the farm and the weather since 1946.

A meticulous hoarder, he still has the accounts and bank statements for each year he has farmed.

Mr Havers was a member of Worlingworth Parish Council for more than 40 years, a school governor and a member of the local Town Lands charity.

Mrs Havers still occasionally sings hymns she learned as a child attending Rishangles Sunday School.

She remembers fattening two piglets given to her by her father and selling them to buy a pram for her first child.

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