Musical Suffolk couple chime in to glorious 70th wedding anniversary

Olive and Rob Bilbrough are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Olive and Rob Bilbrough are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A musical Suffolk couple have celebrated 70 years of loving marriage together with a sing-song.

Rob and Olive Bilbrough, originally from the capital, enjoyed a day of laughter with their family on Wednesday to mark their platinum anniversary in style.

The couple first met in London in 1943, both aged 15 and entering the world of work.

Olive and Rob Bilbrough are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

The pair have lived in Barking, Holland-on-Sea and in Stowmarket - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Bilbrough had recently started a job in London, but a book shop in east London caught his eye. Little did he know, that chance encounter on his commute home would lead him to finding the love of his life.

Mr Bilbrough said he was so happy he made the decision to go inside and ask for a job.


You may also want to watch:


He said: "I remember walking into a room and seeing a girl sat at a typewriter with lovely long, black hair. 

"I thought, 'wow, I like her' – and it was love at first sight for me."

Olive and Rob Bilbrough are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

The couple met in 1943 and got married in 1951 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Most Read

The two were later forced apart after Mr Bilbrough was called up to serve in Egypt during the Palestine Crisis in the late 1940s – but his beloved "Oli" was there waiting for him on his return.

The pair, 93, later married in 1951, living in Barking, Holland-on-Sea and now in Stowmarket, nearby their daughter Anne.

Between Anne and her brother David, the couple now have six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Many of them are musicians, with the entire family loving an excuse for a song or dance.

Olive and Rob Bilbrough are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

The couple would regularly perform songs for people in care homes - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Bilbrough said: "Some of our favourite memories are going to watch shows at the theatre together.

"We have always loved playing music together – we would always go and perform in care homes together, I would sing the old songs and Oli would play the keyboard or the accordion. 

"We have so many wonderful memories."

It is those 70 years of fun and laughter which have made for the perfect marriage, Mr Bilbrough said.

He added: "I think the secret to a long and happy marriage is love – love and patience.

"There will always be little bumps along the way, but they're just one of those things.

"When we made our vows, we said 'til death do us part' – and that's the way it should be."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter