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Mulbarton couple mark 60 years at church in which they wed

PUBLISHED: 12:07 26 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:07 26 December 2014

Beryl and Jim Hayward celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at their home in Mulbarton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Beryl and Jim Hayward celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at their home in Mulbarton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2014

A Mulbarton couple marked their diamond wedding by attending a service at the church where they got married - and the same one they've visited for 60 years.

Beryl and Jim Hayward on their wedding day sixty years ago. Picture: submittedBeryl and Jim Hayward on their wedding day sixty years ago. Picture: submitted

Jim and Beryl Hayward, of Otter Drive, married at St John the Baptist church in Lakenham when they were 22 and 21 respectively.

Having met at a dance at the Samson and Hercules building in Norwich four years earlier, Mr Hayward, now 82, said that their “eyes met across the room”.

“It was December 1950 and I was doing my national service, I was posted to Stoke Holy Cross. Caley’s factory, where Beryl worked, used to put on dances there and we were invited.

“We saw each other across the room and that was it - the rest is history,” he said.

Their first date was a trip to the Haymarket cinema, though neither of the doting couple - who have four grandchildren - could remember which film they saw.

Soon after, Mr Hayward went back to Cumbria to finish his national service and return to his job as a solicitor’s clerk.

Mrs Hayward, who was born in Norwich, briefly moved up north to be with him - but it wasn’t long before the pair returned to Norfolk.

Then working at W H Smith and Son - now WHSmith - Mr Hayward was able to transfer to the Thorpe Station book store.

It was then that the pair decided to get married in Lakenham, with a service in Tuckswood.

“We had quite a lot of people there but it was all quite normal. We still attend the church now, Mr Hayward said.

Their honeymoon was a trip down to London, where they watched The King and I and stayed at a relatives’ house for a few days.

Six years later, the couple had their son Tim, 54, who has since had four daughters.

While working at WH Smith and Son, Mr Hayward was approached by a German man hoping to set up newsagents around the city, which marked start of a 30-year career of the couple working together.

Starting off at St Leonard’s Road, Norwich, they worked and lived at various shops around the city, including ones in Rosary Road, Prince of Wales Road and Queen’s Road.

But business troubles saw some of the shops close, and Mr Hayward was forced to get a job as a caretaker at Lakenham Middle School, before retiring to Mulbarton 16 years ago.

Mr Hayward said that the secret to their success was how much time they had spent together.

“We were good when we worked together, since we got married we have been together and haven’t spent much time apart. We get on very well,” he said.

And when asked what he had learnt over 60 years of marriage, Mr Hayward said “Beryl’s always right. That’s what I’ve learnt”.

Do you have a story for us? Contact lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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