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Ipswich couple look back on seven decades of love as they mark platinum wedding anniversary

PUBLISHED: 14:01 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:45 14 June 2017

Lily and Archie Gooding at their home in Ipswich as they mark their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

Lily and Archie Gooding at their home in Ipswich as they mark their 70th wedding anniversary. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

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Lily and Archie Gooding need to find space on the wall for a third anniversary card from the Queen as they celebrate 70 years of marriage.

Lily and Archie Gooding on their wedding day in 1947. Picture: PROVIDED BY THE FAMILYLily and Archie Gooding on their wedding day in 1947. Picture: PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY

The couple, of Ipswich, were wed on this day in 1947 at the town’s St Peter’s Church after meeting 10 months before at the Greyhound Pub in Claydon.

Was it love at first sight? “I suppose it was,” said 91-year-old Mrs Gooding, laughing.

It was raining on the big day, and they were not able to put on a good spread or even have a wedding cake as food was still rationed due to the Second World War.

Mr Gooding, 96, served in the Desert Air Force for six years as a leading air craftsman, four of which were spent abroad in places such as Egypt, Libya, Sicily, Italy and Austria. After the military he worked at a garage in Claydon and later delivered beer for the Tolly Cobbold Brewery.

Lily and Archie Gooding with their third anniversary card from the Queen. Picture: LINDA HAWESLily and Archie Gooding with their third anniversary card from the Queen. Picture: LINDA HAWES

The pair have lived in their current home in Maple Close since 1959 and they have two children, Linda Hawes and Keith Gooding, as well as five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Still steady on their feet, the couple used to love ballroom dancing in their younger years, and they also have around 30 trophies from lawn bowls competitions. Mrs Gooding said she would beat all of the men on the green.

They are not technophobes either. The duo both have iPads, which Mr Gooding uses to catch up on the football while his wife watches television, and they also get out and about on their mobility scooters.

“I don’t know where the years have gone,” added Mrs Gooding, who worked for 20 years in the former Belstead Special School in Ipswich and also spent some of her career as a tailoress. “We have looked after each other, that’s all you can do. We have had beautiful holidays and we have made the best of everything. We have never been wealthy but we have been happy.”

Mrs Hawes described her parents relationship as “perfect”. She added: “I have never known mum and dad to argue.”

Mr and Mrs Gooding are getting together with their family and friends for a meal at the Holiday Inn in London Road, Ipswich, this Sunday to mark the milestone.

Today they received a card of congratulations from the Queen, which will join the two others displayed in frames on their living room wall from their 50th and 60th anniversaries.

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