Stowmarket couple celebrate diamond anniversary with card from the Queen and visit from the mayor

Jean and Colin Hawkins were delighted to receive a card from the Queen on their big day. Picture: JI

Jean and Colin Hawkins were delighted to receive a card from the Queen on their big day. Picture: JILL SAINSBURY - Credit: Archant

A couple from Stowmarket celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary were surprised by a visit from the mayor at their home on Thursday.

The pair were paid a special visit by Stowmarket Town Mayor Dave Muller. Picture: JILL SAINSBURY

The pair were paid a special visit by Stowmarket Town Mayor Dave Muller. Picture: JILL SAINSBURY - Credit: Archant

Jean and Colin Hawkins, both 80 years old, were already thrilled to have received a card from the Queen when Stowmarket Town Mayor Dave Muller paid them a visit to congratulate them on their big day, marking 60 years of marriage.

However according to Mr Hawkins, the highlight of the day was a wine tasting at The Rookery Bowls Club, where friends toasted the pair with champagne.

The couple met in Mr Hawkins’ local pub in Morley, West Yorkshire when they were both just 20 years old. Mrs Hawkins’ sister-in-law was the pub’s landlady, and the couple suspect she may have played a part in matching them up.

They were married just 11 months and one week later, on March 8, 1958. Mr Hawkins said the ceremony was lovely, it was just a shame the weather was so rotten – as ice on the ground caused his mother to slip over and give them all a scare.


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Mrs Hawkins, originally from Birstall, worked in the photography department in a Boots store in Leeds before she was married. The couple then went on to travel all round the country.

With his background in engineering, Mr Hawkins’ jobs in the prison service led the pair to Wakefield, where he worked as a civilian instructor, then on to Durham, and then to headquarters in Surrey and Croydon – where he worked as head of the prison laundry industry in England and Wales.

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However the pair decided to settle in Stowmarket when their grandchildren came along, and Mr Hawkins insisted it was his wife’s turn to pick a roost.

He said: “I said simply to my wife, you followed me through my career. It is your decision now.”

Mr and Mrs Hawkins have two children, Jill and Mark, two grandchildren, Sherilee and Zoe, and four great-grandchildren between them: Lily, Logan, Evie and Esme.

When asked the couples’s secret to a long and happy marriage, Mr Hawkins said it was easy to reel off classic advice such as: ‘Don’t argue before bed,’ and ‘Don’t let the small things get to you,’ but, in their case, things were simple.

He said: “Life’s much more basic. I love her.”

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