Diamond wedding joy for pair who met playing classic party game ‘postman’s knock’

PUBLISHED: 11:30 21 December 2018

The Stiffs stand proudly with their telegram signed by the Queen Picture: ARCHANT

The Stiffs stand proudly with their telegram signed by the Queen Picture: ARCHANT


A Suffolk couple who met as teenagers are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary – decades after they met at a party and played the classic game ‘postman’s knock’.

The Stiffs on their wedding day Picture: ARCHANTThe Stiffs on their wedding day Picture: ARCHANT

Dudley and Shirley Stiff, who live in Capel St Mary, marked their diamond anniversary on Thursday and received a royal telegram from The Queen.

The pair have a 49-year-old daughter, Jane Lee, and two granddaughters Amy and Chloe Catling – who are 19 and 16 respectively.

They met aged just 16 at a party, hosted at the Tacket Street congregation in Ipswich.

It was there that they played a popular kissing game called postman’s knock – also known as post office.

The Stiffs tie the knot back in 1958 Picture: ARCHANTThe Stiffs tie the knot back in 1958 Picture: ARCHANT

As fate would have it Mr Stiff was invited to the party when one of Mrs Stiff’s friends fell ill and had to drop out.

“My now husband was one of the boys at the party,” said Mrs Stiff.

“We were playing postman’s knock and I really fancied him.”

Mr Stiff said: “I walked her to her auntie’s house from the party, that’s when we talked and decided we liked each other and might want to see each other again.

The telegram sent from Elizabeth II Picture: ARCHANTThe telegram sent from Elizabeth II Picture: ARCHANT

“That’s where it started.”

When Mr Stiff was 21 he was called up to do his two-year mandatory national service in the British Army.

It was during time at home that the couple tied the knot only a few months later, on December 20, 1958.

“I always say it is a silly time to get married just before Christmas,” said Mrs Stiff.

“But Dudley was back and he had a bit of time at home so it seemed right, in those days you didn’t share a room when you weren’t married and we wanted to be together and have our own room.”

The pair, who credit ‘give and take’ for their long-lasting marriage, never looked back.

After completing his national service, Mr Stiff worked at agricultural machinery maker Ransomes before becoming a metal worker.

Meanwhile, Mrs Stiff was private secretary to a company director at Cranfield and Warners.

The couple retired in their 60s when Mrs Stiff was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mr Stiff cared for his wife and they spent the rest of their time caravanning across the UK and enjoying walks together.

“It’s about give and take,” said Mr Stiff.

“When you marry ‘I’ becomes ‘we’ and as long as I do what I’m told I’ll be okay.”

Mrs Stiff said: “He’s quite a useful man to have around the house, he’s a good ‘do it yourself man’ and he does some cooking.”

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