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Lakenham: I am so lucky to be here to celebrate with my sweet wife

PUBLISHED: 15:19 06 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:26 02 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

He may have had three heart attacks, two types of cancer, a crumbling spine and diabetes, but a Norwich man still says he is the "luckiest man in the world" having come through his illnesses to celebrate his diamond wedding anniversary with his wife.

He may have had three heart attacks, two types of cancer, a crumbling spine and diabetes, but a Norwich man still says he is the “luckiest man in the world” having come through his illnesses to celebrate his diamond wedding anniversary with his wife.

Deryck Greengrass and his wife Dorothy, who used to play in the park together when they were children, reached the milestone on April 1, and will be joined by friends and family later this month for a big celebration.

The couple, who are now in their 80s and live on Barrett Road, Lakenham, met when they were about 11, but lost touch when Mrs Greengrass was sent to a convent in Hertfordshire by her foster parents.

At the age of 18, she left the convent and wrote to the Lord Mayor of Norwich to ask whether he could help her to get back in touch with her brothers and sisters, which he did, and she returned to the city to live with them.

Mr Greengrass said: “I was getting the bus up Dereham Road when I saw an old friend on the corner of Old Palace Road, so I jumped off to speak to him, and he said he was waiting to take Dorothy out. But then he decided he wouldn't, and let me take her to the pictures instead - we went to the Regal - and from then on we were never apart.”

The couple got married in 1950 at St Phillip's Church, which used to stand in Heigham Road, and they went on to have four children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with another on the way.

They both had a series of jobs in the city, with Mr Greengrass working for Caley's chocolate factory, Reliance Garage and backstage at the Norwich Theatre Royal, where Mrs Greengrass also worked as an usherette.

She said: “We are so happy to have reached our diamond wedding anniversary - I thought I was going to lose him a couple of times, as he had three heart attacks in a week, colon cancer and eye cancer. He has been through a lot but we are very lucky. We have a wonderful family and all love each other to bits.”

Mr Greengrass added: “She is still a sweet little thing.”

Are you celebrating your diamond wedding anniversary, or do you have another story for Local Life? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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