Couple celebrate seven-decade love story

VIDEO Wally and Margaret Shaw are still together after all these years - all seven decades!The couple are one of the longest married in Suffolk having just celebrated their platinum wedding, their 70th anniversary.

WALLY and Margaret Shaw are still together after all these years - all seven decades!

The couple are one of the longest married in Suffolk having just celebrated their platinum wedding, their 70th anniversary.

Wally, who is 100, and Margaret, 98, said they could not believe they had been married so long and claimed the time had “flown by” because of their active life together and involvement in voluntary work caring for others.

“Why have we been married so long? Don't ask me - there's no big secret,” said Margaret.

“The time has just flown by and it certainly doesn't feel like 70 years.

“We've always been very busy and we have enjoyed being active people, getting involved with different organisations.

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“We have done voluntary work ever since we married and the fun and satisfaction I have got out of it has been terrific.

“In marriage, tolerance is the key thing. You have to put up with their whims and fancies.

“Also, I still say don't fight, find an amicable resolution.”

The couple - who now live at the Margery Girling House sheltered complex in Gosford Way, Old Felixstowe - married in 1938 in Norwich, the year before war broke out.

Wally, born in a little cottage in Grange Road, Felixstowe, served aboard HMS Warspite during the war in the Mediterranean and in Egypt, serving for six years with the Royal Navy.

After he returned from the military the couple were able to start life together fully.

Wally worked for 44 years with the Eastern Gas Board, and in his spare time had an equally long association with the St John Ambulance, both as an active officer on first aid duty and in training others.

In the 1953 floods he spent a long wet winter night in Langer Road in the freezing floodwater, rescuing many people from drowning, bravely going back time and time again throughout the hours to find new people stranded and frightened.

His great love is gardening, and for 70 years he enjoyed swimming in the sea - he was able to swim right round Felixstowe pier - and was also involved with Felixstowe Swimming Club and the Sea Scouts.

He also found time to sit on school committees.

Wally likes to keep active even now - and walks about a kilometre every other day.

“I can go as far as the pub down the road - but I never go in,” he joked.

Margaret, a former nanny, was not only busy looking after their two children, Chris and Vicky, but was Brown Owl with Walton Brownies for 20 years and welfare officer of Felixstowe and District Disabled Club for 30 years.

She said: “Felixstowe has changed so much over the past 70 years - I can remember when it was all cornfields where now it is housing everywhere.

“I also remember coming out of a friend's house in Walton and seeing proper street lights for the first time and my daughter in the pram repeating 'pretty lights, mummy' over and over as we walked home.”

The couple have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Do you know anyone who has been married longer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: 1938

Orson Welles caused panic in the USA with his radio broadcast of his version of War of the Worlds.

Hitler marched into Austria and Germany claimed part of the Czech Republic as Europe moved closer to the brink of war.

Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia by a joint venture of Chevron and Texaco - today it is the largest oil producing country in the world.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain famously declared incorrectly “I believe it is peace for our time” after the signing of the Munich Agreement.

Len Hutton scored a record 364 runs against Australia at the Oval - highest score by an Englishman in a Test match - in a 13 hour 20 minute marathon innings.

In the World Cup Final, Italy beat Hungary 4-2, The Life of Emile Zola got the Oscar for best picture, and Pearl Buck the Nobel prize for literature.

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