Couple who met over an ironing board toast platinum anniversary

Thelma and David Matthews who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Thelma and David Matthews who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Traditionally iron marks the sixth wedding anniversary, but the household item would prove to be an omen for more than seven decades of romance for one Norfolk couple.

For David and Thelma Matthews, from Hethersett, their story began when Mr Matthews was returning on compassionate leave from the RAF to see his ill mother. 

Arriving home he met his future wife who was helping his family with household chores. 

The 91-year-old said: "She was ironing one of my shirts.

"I came home on compassionate leave as my mother had cancer, my sister was an apprentice at the salon where my wife worked and she was helping out."

And ever since then the couple has been in creases, citing humour among the key reasons for their long and happy marriage.

Thelma and David Matthews who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Thelma and David Matthews who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. - Credit: Danielle Booden


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"We've never taken life too seriously," said Mr Matthews. 

Mrs Matthews, 90, joked that it was down to being a "very patient woman". 

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The humour has been around since their first date, which was to a wrestling match when Mr Matthews was 20 and his wife, 19.

Mrs Matthews added: "In revenge, I took him to see Hamlet." 

The couple were engaged in Cardiff, when visiting Mr Matthews brother, a "long trip" for Mrs Matthews to see her husband-to-be, who was on 72-hour leave in Hereford.

David and Thelma Matthews on their wedding day on September 6 1951.

David and Thelma Matthews on their wedding day on September 6 1951. - Credit: Matthews family

They married at St Peter Parmentergate, in King Street, Norwich, on September 6, 1951. 

Mrs Matthews continued to take shifts as a hairdresser and would work as a Norwich city guide. 

The former Notre Dame School pupil said: "I was born in Norwich, I couldn't leave Norwich. I really love it. The market is still there, the castle and the arcade which is good."

The platinum wedding couple has no plans for their big anniversary.

The couple raised their daughter Ann, in Norfolk, who also attended the Notre Dame School. 

Ann, who lives in West Sussex, said: "I think it is just amazing. They get on really well, dad does the shopping and mum does the cooking."

The couple is grandparents to David and Sarah and great-grandparents to James, Alex, Oliver, Matthew, Thomas and Aimee. 

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