Former Ipswich mayor and wife celebrating diamond wedding anniversary
PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 October 2020
A former mayor of Ipswich and his wife are to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary amid Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday.
Bill and Val Wright met through family members and became engaged after 10 months together, tying the knot in a ceremony at Ipswich’s St Augustine’s Church on October 29, 1960.
The couple have spent all their lives in the town and launched a housewares business more than 40 years ago, which had stores in Ipswich, Woodbridge and Halesworth.
As recently as this year, Bill, 81 and Val, 79, also managed a distribution warehouse in Ipswich’s Ransomes industrial estate - though that was forced to close in April as the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy.
Bill is a familiar name in Ipswich politics after spending more than two decades serving as a councillor for the Bixley ward, including a year when he served as town mayor between 2005 and 2006.
However, he decided to step down from his position in 2008 to recover from a triple heart bypass operation, prompting an outpouring of support from fellow councillors.
He said: “I did 21 years as a councillor, so I must have liked some of it.
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“When I was mayor, I tried to give back a little bit. It was really good and very worthwhile.”
With the government’s ‘rule of six’ preventing large social gatherings, the Wrights have opted to postpone a larger diamond anniversary celebration with the rest of their family until restrictions are relaxed.
Instead, they have chosen to celebrate the special occasion at home in a low-key fashion, not willing to take any risks amid rising Covid-19 infection rates.
Bill said: “We wished to have a large family party, but that’s gone by the wayside. We will have a quiet one instead.
“We can’t afford to have people round. We have to have a bit of common sense.”
Val added: “We will celebrate when the time comes.”
Together, Bill and Val have three children, Debbie, Gary and Andrew, as well as 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When asked what the secret to a long and happy marriage is, Bill simply said: “You have to give and take and have a bit of common sense.”
Val added: “We’ve never lived in each other’s pockets and always amalgamated.”
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