Thurlton couple celebrate golden milestone

Tony and Diane Clarke from Thurlton celebrate 50 years of marriage. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Tony and Diane Clarke from Thurlton celebrate 50 years of marriage. PHOTO: Nick Butcher


They met while making shoes at a factory in Norwich, and on Saturday Thurlton couple Diane and Tony Clarke celebrated their golden anniversary.

Tony and Diane Clarke on their wedding day. 

PHOTO: Nick ButcherTony and Diane Clarke on their wedding day. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Mr and Mrs Clarke met in 1963 and went on their first date along with two other friends to the cinema in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, on an extremely rainy day.

And the weather didn’t get any better for their wedding day three years later when there was a dusting of snow.

Mrs Clarke, now 69, said: “My father woke me up with a cup of tea and said you are going to have a white wedding, it is snowing outside. It didn’t last all the day but it was very cold.”

They were married at St Mark’s Church in Norwich on March 26, 1966.

After the wedding the couple both left their jobs at the shoe factory and moved to a cottage in Norton Subcourse where Mr Clarke got a job milking cows on a farm.

And several years later when Mr Clarke got his dream job working as a marshman at Haddiscoe Island looking after the cattle, the couple moved to Thurlton where they have now lived for the past 40 years.

Mr Clarke, now 70, still looks after the cattle every summer and is responsible for about 800 acres and 1,000 cattle.

“I still love it,” he said. “It is my dream job.

“My father did it and I always said when he retired I would love to do the job he did.”

Together the couple have two daughters, Louise and Sharon, and one grandson Arthur who is six-years-old.

And Mr and Mrs Clarke spend a lot of time with their grandson, taking him to school and picking him up every day, as well as enjoying time in their garden and their two Labradors.

They marked their milestone with a meal at The Oak Tree in Norwich on Sunday, joined by Mrs Clarke’s three bridesmaids - her two sisters and niece - and Mr Clarke’s best man.

And when asked the secret to their long and happy marriage, Mr Clarke said they key is to be laid back and always forget any little arguments.

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