“We met at a fairground in Harleston as 16-year-olds. I knew who she was, but she said I chased her all round the fairground that day until she spoke to me!”
So said John Riseborough, of his courting of young Rosie.
Mr Riseborough’s attempts certainly paid off, as the couple, of Mendham, celebrated 60 years of marriage yesterday with a meal in Flixton surrounded by family and friends, including one of the bridesmaids at their wedding.
Mrs Riseborough, 82, who used to work in Mendham village store, and as an apple-picker in Weybread, said the secret to the couple’s long-lasting marriage was “give and take”, and “lots of love”.
Mr Riseborough, who worked in the armed forces, serving in Germany, for Howard Rotavators in Harleston, from 1960 until 1986, and for Permastore, in Eye, said that although the couple have had their “ups and downs” over the course of their marriage, there have been “more ups than downs, and if we had a down, we get over it quickly.”
He added: “When I worked in Eye, me and the guys used to sit outside and have our lunch together on a nice day. Some of them, those were separated from their wives, would ask me, ‘how the hell do you keep a wife for that long’? I told them, ‘if you come home to a lovely woman who has you clean bedding, a clean shirt, and a nice meal on the table every night, you don’t let her go!’”
The couple, who have two sons, Andrew and Neville, along with four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, have lived in Mendham since getting married at the village church on a “very rainy day.” The wedding was held on a Saturday, and the couple did not have the luxury of a honeymoon, as Mr Riseborough had a night-shift on the Sunday.
Mrs Riseborough was raised in the village, while Mr Riseborough, also 82, grew up in nearby Metfield.
The couple, who are determined to celebrate their platinum wedding in ten years’ time, said they have been “very lucky”, and still look to get out and about as often as possible.
Bingo fanatics, the Riseboroughs, who married before cheese and meat rationing in the UK was ended, and two years before ITV began broadcasting, play the game three times a week in Lowestoft.
Mr Riseborough is a keen gardener, while Mrs Riseborough used to be a member of the local over-60s group.
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