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Golden wedding joy for couple despite coronavirus sinking celebration plans

PUBLISHED: 11:30 03 April 2020

Bob and Pat Swann have been married for 50 years. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Bob and Pat Swann have been married for 50 years. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Family

The family of an Ipswich couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary are refusing to let the coronavirus take the shine off their golden celebration.

The family of Bob and Pat Swann were planning a big celebration but will have to wait until after the the coronavirus shutdown is lifted. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYThe family of Bob and Pat Swann were planning a big celebration but will have to wait until after the the coronavirus shutdown is lifted. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Bob, aged 71, and 70-year-old Pat were due to go on a special cruise on the Queen Mary in May and another longer cruise in August, but both have had to be scrapped because of the pandemic lockdown.

Their daughter Lacey said: “As a large family we were planning on throwing a surprise party for their anniversary, but with the viral outbreak this has had to be postponed.

“It’s such a shame as we really wanted to do something special but we will just have to wait until this is all over now.

“But we thought we would try and get something in the paper as they are a well-known couple and a lot of people they have known and worked with down the years would like to wish them congratulations.”

Bob and Pat Swann on their wedding day in 1970. Picture: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILYBob and Pat Swann on their wedding day in 1970. Picture: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILY

Bob and Pat, who live in Rushmere St Andrew, were the children of Irish parents who moved to Ipswich in the post-war years.

Pat grew up in Renfrew Road and first met Bob when she was a teenager and his family moved in nearby.

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They soon started dating but after a year Bob’s family decided to move to Holland. However Bob, while still only a teenager, decided he was staying in Ipswich and lodged with a neighbour to be near Pat.

Bob and Pat Swann met as teenagers. Picture: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILYBob and Pat Swann met as teenagers. Picture: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILY

They married on April 4, 1970, at the old St Mary’s church in Ipswich and went on to have eight children, 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

MORE: ‘She’s like a mum to everyone’

Bob was an electrician who went on to become one of Suffolk’s longest serving firefighters, spending more than 40 years with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Pat will be a familiar face to hundreds of former pupils at St Alban’s Catholic High School in Ipswich where she has worked for more than 35 years firstly as a lunch supervisor and later as a receptionist.

The couple went on to have eight children. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYThe couple went on to have eight children. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Lacey said: “As adults with our own children, when we’ve asked mum how she coped having eight children she would smile and say ‘Well dear we just got on with it. I’d have had more if I could’.

“They are well known for always being together. In 50 years they have spent only rare occasions apart when one or the other has had short hospital stays. Today they still remain inseparable and do everything together.”

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