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Sprowston: How last dance led to long-lasting love

PUBLISHED: 17:01 08 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:08 01 July 2010

John and Beryl Minns

John and Beryl Minns

Sam Emanuel

They met at a telephonists' ball when he caught her as she was leaving and asked her for the last dance, and more than 60 years later they are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

They met at a telephonists' ball when he caught her as she was leaving and asked her for the last dance, and more than 60 years later they are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

And John and Beryl Minns, who are now 83 and 82 and live in Colindeep Lane, Sprowston, are still very much in love, having “grown together” throughout their marriage.

Mrs Minns said she met her husband at a telephonists' dance at what is now The Assembly House when she worked at the telephone exchange and he worked in the same building, but on a different floor, as an engineer.

She said: “I had been invited to go to the dance by my friend and I didn't really want to go but she persuaded me. There were lots of men there in RAF uniforms and various other people, and I was asked to dance by a man who had big boots on and kept stepping on my toes.

“I'd had enough, and went over towards the door to leave, but then I heard a voice say 'And where do you think you're going?' and looked round and John was standing there.

“That's been a catchphrase all our lives. I told him that the man had been standing on my toes, and he asked me to dance with him instead, so I did, and then he walked me home.”

The couple married at St Catherine's Church in Ludham and went on to have two sons and eight grandchildren - five granddaughters and three grandsons.

Family plays a very big part in their life, and they regularly see their relatives, who live in Sprowston and Leicester and joined them for a celebration of their anniversary at the old rectory in Crostwick. Mr and Mrs Minns are also involved with the Wroxham Road Methodist Church and help a charity which supports people with Parkinson's Disease, as well as helping to run the BT retired staff association, through which they meet up with old friends.

Mrs Minns also enjoys baking, while her husband loves being out in the garden. She said the secret to their long marriage has been tolerance, and added: “My mother told me never to go to sleep on an argument, and it's worked for us. We tried to once, after an argument about something silly, but we were both still laying awake at 2am!”

Are you celebrating your diamond wedding anniversary? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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