Suffolk Couple celebrate 65th wedding anniversary with royal congratulations
A Suffolk couple have celebrated their landmark blue sapphire wedding anniversary with a card from the Queen.
Eileen and Peter Burch got married on Saturday, October 31, 1953, tying the knot at St Andrew’s Church in the village of Melton aged 18 and 22.
Since they said their vows the couple have lived through the moon landing, England’s world cup win and the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as living under the rule of 14 different prime ministers and seeing nine different U.S presidents.
Mr Burch who used to work as an NHS administrator at Addenbrooke hospital, and Mrs Burch, who worked at Joe Lyon’s Bakery in Ipswich have experienced 65 years as a married couple with a message from her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Mrs Burch said: “It doesn’t feel like 65 years I must say, I don’t know where the time has gone.
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“To get a message from the Queen means a great deal, we got one for our 60th and hopefully if we are still here we will get one for our 70th too.
“We don’t have a family but we’ve got lovely friends and lovely neighbours so we are very lucky really.”
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Mr and Mrs Burch first met back in the 1950’s when their families were good friends.
Eileen went to Melton school with Peter’s younger brother where her family, the Booths, first got acquainted with the Burchs.
In 1949 Peter completed his national service, serving in Malaya, now Singapore but when he returned to England Peter got to know Eileen at a Melton youth club which they attended together.
The duo first started dating after they co-starred in a play called ‘Husband’s Support.’
Mrs Burch said: “It was basically a bureau for women looking for a husband and each girl had to say what they were looking for.
“I remember going over to Peter, leaning in and saying: ‘I need someone with deep, Mediterranean blue eyes.
“And he still has those blue eyes today. That’s when we started going out.”
The couple were married three years later, although Eileen can’t recall how Peter’s proposed.
“I can’t remember that,” she said.
“I do remember us sitting at the back of Woodbridge cinema and him telling me he loved me.
“But I don’t think he actually proposed it just happened.
“I do remember that my parents had to sign something to say that I could get married to Peter because I was under 21.
“They were happy to do it.”
The two were married in their village church with the wedding costing them just £3.9s.3d, worth approximately £108.06 today.
Eileen’s wedding dress cost her £7, around £218.46 today and her reception buffet, held at the parish hall, cost just 2s.6d, just under £4 today.
“I do think everything is about extravagance today,” said Eileen,
“But we are of the older generation so we would think that.”
When asked the ultimate question about the secret to a so-called ‘happy marriage’ Eileen was unsure.
She said: “I don’t know really.
“We’ve done it all together, gone on lots of wonderful holidays from Spain, to the Greek Islands and so forth.
“But we have our own things, Peter has his golf and I used to go on holiday with my mother.
“I would say give and take but I don’t like to use those words.
“You just have to help and support eachother.”