100 years married

AN IPSWICH couple who celebrated their wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day have now reached a rather bizarre century.Pensioners Janet and Bert Fowler – who marked their seventh wedding anniversary on February 14 – have now, collectively, spent 100 years of their lives married.

AN IPSWICH couple who celebrated their wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day have now reached a rather bizarre century.

Pensioners Janet and Bert Fowler - who marked their seventh wedding anniversary on February 14 - have now, collectively, spent 100 years of their lives married.

The couple have both have been married before - Janet for 42 years and Bert for 51 - meaning the seven they have spent together takes their combined total to a round ton.

Janet, 71, and Bert, 82, from Colchester Road, got together after their spouses died.

Janet said: "He was the best friend of my first husband and they both worked together at the same place. I knew Bert and I also knew his wife.

"My husband died of cancer and some years later, Bert's wife died suddenly of a heart attack."

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Although the pair knew each other, they were nothing more than acquaintances at first. However, that all changed after Janet invited Bert along to her Christmas party.

She said: "When my husband died, I found that people didn't invite widows out much. They seemed half afraid.

"I used to have an open house at Christmas and I always invited some of my single friends. I thought about Bert because he was on his own and he came along.

"It started by us going to the theatre because we both liked it, but it was just as friends. Then it became more. We were courting for about a year before we were married."

The couple's respective families were fully supportive of their decision to marry, with one of Bert's sons giving his blessing in more ways than one.

Janet, a former headteacher at Orford Primary School, explained: "One of his sons is a vicar and it was him who married us at St Johns Church. Our families are close and they thought it was wonderful.

"It was nice to marry on Valentine's Day but it was quite accidental. We tried to get married on February 7 but we couldn't find anywhere to have a reception. We eventually tried Fynn Valley Golf Club and they said they could only do February 14, so that was it."

The couple have a collective family of four children and eight grandchildren.

Janet added: "The last seven years have been the best years I have had. When you get married for the second time you do all sorts of things you didn't do the first time."

Opinion - page 6.

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