Couple who grew up together celebrate their golden wedding
A Suffolk couple who grew up together as neighbours have celebrated 50 years of marriage.
Henry and Heather Birt, aged 80 and 73, and from Woodbridge, met as youngsters when they both lived in the village of Ufford over half a century ago.
To mark their momentous milestone the couple enjoyed a number of celebratory events with their family and friends.
The first was a surprise night away put together by the couple’s two daughters.
The couple received a mysterious phone call from their daughters late last Thursday night telling them to pack an overnight bag.
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They were given an address to drive to but were told no more about what had been planned.
On Friday their daughters revealed that the couple would be spending the night under the stars in a specially organised caravan near Halesworth and also went out for a meal.
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On their return on Saturday they spent the day relaxing before gathering family and close friends for a party on Sunday.
Not wanting their friends to worry about buying them gifts the couple asked that any money people wanted to give be donated to Macmillian Cancer Support instead.
The reason for the thoughtful donations was very close to home for the Birts.
“I had ovarian cancer last year,” explained Heather, “and they were fantastic at Ipswich Hospital.”
It’s been a difficult few years for the couple as Henry has also been treated at the hospital after cancerous growths were found. A final amount for the donations from the couple’s friends and family has yet to be tallied but the current total stands at around £400.
“People have been very generous,” said Heather.
“They want to fund five more nurses at the hospital because they work such long hours and the money will go towards that.”
The anniversary celebrations came at the end of a very exciting month for the pair.
Both Henry and Heather also celebrated their birthdays in October with Henry being treated to a ride in a helicopter to mark his milestone.
When asked what the secret to their long marriage was they said it was working together that had seen them through.
“We just get on and do whatever is needed,” said Heather. Henry added: “It’s about give and take.”