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Market trader decorates fruit and veg stall to celebrate wedding annivesary

Darren and Helen McQueen at their stall which Darren decorated for their 20th wedding anniversary Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Darren and Helen McQueen at their stall which Darren decorated for their 20th wedding anniversary Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

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A Bury St Edmunds market trader surprised his wife on their 20th wedding anniversary by decorating his fruit and veg stall with photographs from their special day.

Darren and Helen McQueen with children Chloe and Lewis Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDDarren and Helen McQueen with children Chloe and Lewis Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Darren McQueen, 45, who owns the stall opposite Caffè Nero on the Cornhill, put up the wedding day snaps of him and wife Helen, 44, at today’s market – the date of the couple’s China anniversary.

The popular market, which is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, attracts thousands of people each week and many shoppers stopped to view the photographs, which featured shots of the happy couple enjoying their special day in 1998.

The couple first met on the market in Bury in 1990, when Darren was working on a tool stall outside what is now Starbucks as a fresh-faced 17-year-old.

“I think she just walked over we got chatting, and I liked what I saw.” Darren said.

“She was a secretarial student, and I used to help her with her shorthand.”

The couple, who live in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, have two children, Chloe, 14, and Lewis, 12, and have worked around the hustle and bustle of markets all their lives.

Helen also started as a 16-year-old – helping out on a stall in Newmarket.

They bought the fruit and veg stall in Bury three years ago and say business has been relatively good.

Darren said: “It’s not perhaps the booming days of the late 1980s and early 90s, but we’re very lucky to have a loyal customer base who return each week.”

Asked what has been the secret of their happy marriage, Helen said: “I think we’ve always worked together and helped each other out.

“Our families get on really well and we meet up all the time. We’re a very close family.”

Underneath the photographs was a romantic message which read: “Helen, Happy 20th wedding anniversary today.

“All my love, Darren.”

Helen said she was completely surprised by her husband’s gesture on their anniversary.

“It’s lovely,” she said.

“We look a lot younger in those pictures, that’s for sure, but I feel very special.”

Darren, who is also a part-time lorry driver, added: “There were times when I was away a lot lorry driving.

“I think she deserves a medal.”

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