Diamond couple celebrate 60 years

Norman and Jean Lilley of Mansfield Woodhouse who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary recently.
Norman and Jean Lilley of Mansfield Woodhouse who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary recently.

A COUPLE from Mansfield Woodhouse have been celebrating with family and friends after reaching a special milestone in matrimony.

Norman (82) and Jean Lilley (78), of Sherwood Rise, marked their 60th year of marriage with a party for family and friends at The Hostess restaurant.

Despite welcoming 63 guests, the couple had insisted on receiving no presents, although they did receive their telegram from the Queen.

Norman joked: “What would we want with 63 toasters!

“We are giving things away at our time of life, not wanting things!”

Jean had specifically wanted the party, explaining that the happy couple did not have a reception after getting married on 10th May 1952.

The couple had tied the knot at Nottingham Register Office, with just a few witnesses to help mark the occasion.

They had met at the Central Ordnance Depot, Chilwell, two years previous when they were both in the Armed Forces.

After living with Jean’s mother initially, and then both leaving the army a short time later, Norman went to work at Sherwood Colliery until his retirement in 1986.

They had moved to Sherwood Rise just a few years before then.

Jean had worked at British Home Stores in Mansfield, before spending 27 years at the Pretty Polly factory.

The couple had two children, Chris and Susan, but Susan sadly died in 1991 after losing her battle with cancer. They also have one grandson.

However, in retirement the pair have kept busy, with Jean being an active member of the Triangle Club and Norman spending much of his time building and flying model aeroplanes.

But the burning question is what is the secret to a successful marriage?

Norman explained: “We have had a lot of heart ache, but we don’t let arguments fester. We’ve found that there’s nothing gained by arguing.”