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Couple's golden day Down Under

PUBLISHED: 14:31 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:56 02 July 2010

Inset: Martin and Jean Summers getting married in Norwich half a century ago. Main: Celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in Australia.

Inset: Martin and Jean Summers getting married in Norwich half a century ago. Main: Celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in Australia.

Derek James

This is the story of one former Norwich couple who plucked up the courage to start a new life on the other side of the world…and have just celebrated their golden wedding.

This is the story of one former Norwich couple who plucked up the courage to start a new life on the other side of the world…and have just celebrated their golden wedding.

Martin and Jean Summers have worked hard all their life, accepted the challenges thrown at them in Australia, and have no regrets over saying goodbye to family and friends all those years ago.

“The Summers family now numbers thirteen with our two daughters having seven children between them so we consider we have established ourselves well and truly on the Australian continent,” said Jean, formerly Hardingham.

And since joining a Norfolk and Norwich Association in Australia back in 1986 they have met many ex-pats, including John and Janet Harris.

“Sadly Janet recently passed away. John and I went to Hillside Avenue School and only this week I have spoken to a girl I went to the Blyth School with,” she said.

Martin was born at the Queens Head at Hethersett and Jean was born in Norwich where she lived over her father's fishing tackle shop in Botolph Street. During the war the family moved to Furze Road in Thorpe.

They met each other when Martin was in the RAF and Jean worked at Norwich Union. After he left the services he worked as a painter and decorator for Tyrell and Sons in the city but they dreamed of a new life in Australia.

In 1960 they Norwich…and never looked back.

The worked hard, built their own home, and set up an earthmoving equipment business employing more than 14 men before buying a big cattle farm. They raised 200 head of cattle on a 650-acre ranch.

Over the years Martin's parents Edith and Ralph Summers joined them in Australia along with Jean's sister Enid with her husband and four children.

Eventually they sold the farm and went back into the earthmoving equipment business before finally retiring ten years ago and travelling the world - exploring the rest of Australia, America and Europe.

They are one couple who followed the dream and, thanks to a lot of hard work, it came true.

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