When a 20-year-old Joan Tooley heard her old beau David Broad was back in Great Yarmouth, her heart leapt.

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The young couple had met in 1947 when David, from Salford, Greater Manchester, was in Yarmouth with the Royal Navy minesweeping off the coast.

He asked her to dance on Britannia Pier and they courted. But when David was posted back to Davenport, the romance died down - until David came on holiday to Yarmouth.

“I was at work when my best friend came in and said, ‘Guess who I’ve seen today, David Broad and he’s asked if he could see you tonight’,” remembered Joan.

“My heart leapt and I just knew.”

Joan and David, of Chestnut Avenue, Bradwell, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Monday. They are waiting until Christmas to celebrate however as David, 85, is still recovering from a triple heart bypass.

He had open heart surgery at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge in May, 16 months after Joan sent him to the doctor with a persistent cough.

“I know things won’t be the same again, but we’ve had nothing to grumble about,” said Joan, 86.

“We’ve had lovely, clever children and we don’t argue very often.”

The couple married at St Paul’s Church in Salisbury Road, Yarmouth - they couldn’t tie the knot at St Nicholas because it was still in ruins from being shelled in the war, with the reception at the Bridge Hotel and their honeymoon took them to Norwich and the Isle of Man.

They moved to Salford for three years but when Joan found out she was pregnant, moved back to her hometown of Yarmouth and in 1961 settled in Bradwell.

The couple said they are “very proud” of their children, Deborah and Ian, who now live in Cheshire, and of their grandson James, a doctor.

Joan, who was evacuated during the war, worked as a typist at the Town Hall and later at Lucas & Wyllys Solicitors. For 10 years, she volunteered at the James Paget Hospital.

David worked as an engineer at the Pye factory in Lowestoft for more than 30 years and after retiring spent time woodturning.

When asked the secret of a long, happy marriage, Mr and Mrs Broad agreed give and take was key.

“We don’t argue too often, and when we do we don’t drag it out,” said David.

“I’d say tolerance,” added Joan. “I always let him think he’s in the right.”

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