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Norwich couple who grew up on same street celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:54 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 06 December 2017

Don and Jean Nichols, 81, from Norwich, who are celebrating their  diamond wedding anniversary on December 7 2017.  Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Don and Jean Nichols, 81, from Norwich, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary on December 7 2017. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

SOPHIE WYLLIE

They grew up on the same street and went to nearby schools.

Don and Jean Nichols on their wedding day on December 7 1957 outside St Philip's Church in Norwich. Picture: SENT IN BY DON AND JEAN NICHOLSDon and Jean Nichols on their wedding day on December 7 1957 outside St Philip's Church in Norwich. Picture: SENT IN BY DON AND JEAN NICHOLS

And after meeting over a game of football, a Norwich couple are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

Jean and Don Nichols, 81, from Colls Road in the city’s Heartsease area, married on December 7 1957 at St Philip’s Church, off Norwich’s Dereham Road.

They met as teenagers on an August Bank Holiday while Mr Nichols was playing football on Beecheno Road, Norwich, with his friend Billy Dugdale.

She was with her friend and lived at the opposite end of the street from her future husband.

Mr Nichols, who studied at the old Henderson Boys Secondary School, was on leave from National Service at the time. A duty he completed from 1954-56.

He took his future wife, who studied at the Gurney Secondary Modern School for Girls, on the train to Great Yarmouth where the pair visited the funfair, saw some boats and had a cup of tea.

Mr Nichols said: “I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend at the time. We got on famously.”

His future wife said: “I was walking along the street with my friend and knew Billy. I said to my friend, ‘I like that boy with Billy. I rather fancy him.’ We asked if we could join in the football game. We got on really well.”

They met everyday for two weeks, including going on dates to the cinema, before Mr Nichols had to return to his National Service role as a vehicle stocktaker in Germany.

“We used to write everyday,” Mr Nichols added.

After he finished his National Service the couple got engaged around September 1956 when she was 18 and he was 19.

They were married in front of 40 of their friends and family and the reception was held in the Charing Cross area of Norwich.

The couple’s first home was a flat in Thorpe St Andrew but they moved to Dereham Road, Norwich, before settling in Colls Road in 1959.

Mr Nichols went on to work for May Gurney for 38 years as a general foreman and his wife used to work at Caley’s factory until she had her three children.

They now have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Mr Nichols said: “Jean is still my best friend. We bounce off each other.”

The couple celebrated their anniversary with friends and family at Dunston Hall Hotel.

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