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He wed the girl (almost) next door

PUBLISHED: 23:00 02 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

THEY say that true love is waiting just round the corner.

That's just how Ipswich couple John Bradwell and Joan met and they are now celebrating their golden wedding.

THEY say that true love is waiting just round the corner.

That's just how Ipswich couple John Bradwell and Joan met and they are now celebrating their golden wedding.

When John was 14 years old he moved from Durham and moved in just two doors away from Joan.

Love blossomed. The couple got engaged at 19 and married two years later at St Pancras Church, Tacket Street, Ipswich, on December 22, 1951. They honeymooned in Durham over Christmas.

Joan, now 72, said: "We were quite young when we met. He was my first love."

John worked in Churchman's and then in the building trade as a carpenter before joining Compair Reavell until he retired.

They celebrated their golden wedding with a surprise party at the Golf Hotel in Witnesham, where they enjoyed an evening meal and dancing.

"My son came to pick us up and we thought we were going for a pub meal," said Joan. "We arrived and everybody was there. They did us proud."

The following day the couple enjoyed had a family party at their home in Wherstead Road where they had food, cake and champagne.

"Everybody has their ups and downs. But we help each other and share things and be there for each other," said Joan of the secret of their happy marriage. "We have a lovely family and that just makes the difference."

The couple enjoy music and films.

Joan likes bingo while John likes to try his luck on the horses.

They have a son, two daughters and six grandchildren.

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