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‘We never sit and mope’ - Couple in 80s must cancel diamond wedding anniversary celebrations

PUBLISHED: 12:07 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:45 30 March 2020

Mike and Pauline Chapman were set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on April 2 but have been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Mike Chapman

Mike and Pauline Chapman were set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on April 2 but have been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Mike Chapman

Mike Chapman

A Norfolk couple in their 80s who have enjoyed travelling the world together have been forced to put their diamond wedding anniversary celebrations on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mike and Pauline Chapman were set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on April 2 but have been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Mike ChapmanMike and Pauline Chapman were set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on April 2 but have been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Mike Chapman

Mike and Pauline Chapman, 85 and 80, from Poringland, have expressed their disappointment after they had to cancel plans to celebrate reaching the milestone.

The couple planned to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, on April 2, at the Park Farm Hotel surrounded by friends and family, followed by a romantic getaway to their favourite destination, Italy.

But now, Mr and Mrs Chapman will be marking the occasion from the comfort of their home as they have been forced to stay indoors.

Mrs Chapman, a former volunteer for St John Ambulance, said: “We met at Norwich Speedway when I was 17 and Mike was 22 in 1957.

Mike and Pauline Chapman got married at St Augustine's Church in Norwich in 1960. Photo: Mike ChapmanMike and Pauline Chapman got married at St Augustine's Church in Norwich in 1960. Photo: Mike Chapman

“We both enjoyed watching racing and so did all of our friends. It was quite the Saturday night out there.

“Then we got married in 1960 on April 2 at St Augustine’s Church in Norwich and we started a youth club at the church which ran for nearly 12 years.

“To celebrate we were going to have a luncheon for 44 with some of our oldest friends.”

Mr Chapman, a former sports and physiotherapist, said: “We are a bit disappointed everything we planned has gone out the window, but we are still here and safe and next year we will have a real do.”

From 1960 Mike and Pauline Chapman ran a youth club at St Augustine's church in Norwich for 12 years. Photo: Mike ChapmanFrom 1960 Mike and Pauline Chapman ran a youth club at St Augustine's church in Norwich for 12 years. Photo: Mike Chapman

Despite the lock down, the couple say their spirits remain high as they have been keeping themselves busy in their garden and going for walks.

When asked what their secret to a long and happy marriage is, Mr Chapman said, “having your own interests and staying active together”.

He added: “We have done all sorts of things together over the years.

“We have always kept fit, aerobics, badminton and hiking. We are both studying Italian and we have lots of hobbies.

Mike and Pauline Chapman were set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on April 2 but have been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Mike ChapmanMike and Pauline Chapman were set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on April 2 but have been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Mike Chapman

“We are also great believers in socialising and friendship is really important. We don’t have children of our own, but we have lots of friends and nieces and nephews.

“Our favourite thing to do together is travel, we love visiting Italy and walking around the lakes. We were going to visit Lake Garda in June as part of our celebrations but that has also been cancelled.

“But we never sit around and mope. The secret to a happy marriage is to share everything, but to have your own interests and space. We always have each other’s backs and we muck along.”


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