A couple from Norwich celebrate 60 years of happy marriage

A couple from Norwich celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday have said that without each other they 'wouldn't know what to do.'

John and Iris Firman, who live at Melbourne Cottages sheltered accommodation on Union Road, were married on November 6 1954 at St Barnabas Church.

The couple met in 1949 at a bus stop in Norwich after Mr Firman, who is 83 and originally from Brampton in Suffolk, was visiting his aunt on Bowthorpe Road where Mrs Firman, who is 80, was living with her parents.

Mrs Firman was on another date but that date never turned up and as they say, it was love at first sight.

She said: 'We were both at the bus stop and we started talking and he said where do you live and when I said Bowthorpe Road he said he'd get off the bus with me.'

The couple were engaged for three years, with Mr Firman biking from his busy farming job in Ludham to see his fiancée whenever he had time off.

And Mrs Firman admits after being engaged for so long it was probably her that said the couple should get married.

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Once they were married Mr Firman became a gardener for Norwich City Council and continued to work long hours while Mrs Firman, who worked in a printers and then at City laundry, looked after their daughter Susan.

'We used to like going to the pictures and days out round the coast,' added Mrs Firman.

The former farmer had to retire 25 years ago from his gardening job which he had held for 30 years to look after his wife who has diabetes.

The couple now enjoy their time together with Mrs Firman keen on knitting and reading historical novels and Mr Firman spending time in his garden.

And what is their secret to lasting through 60 years of marriage?

Mr Firman said: 'People have his and hers, like his and hers money and that's where it goes wrong. You have to share everything, we share our money.

'It's been a happy marriage. We have a laugh, he has the jokes,' added Mrs Firman.

The couple have bought each other diamond rings as their anniversary presents and will be celebrating their big day with a coach trip to Caister Castle with their friends organised by the sheltered accommodation at Melbourne Cottages.

Do you know someone who has celebrated a big anniversary or birthday? Call Rebecca Murphy on 01603 772879 or email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk