Ipswich couple Paul and Pamela Pettit on 69 years of "marvellous marriage"

Paul and Pamela Pettit with their two daughters.

Beloved Ipswich couple Paul and Pamela Pettit are celebrating 69 years of "marvellous marriage" on Monday, June 6. - Credit: Supplied by family

A beloved local couple from Ipswich are celebrating 69 years of "marvellous marriage" on Monday, June 6.

Paul, 97, and Pamela Pettit, 90, are staples of the Suffolk community, having run The Bull pub in Bacton, farmed pigs on Cherry Tree Cottage Farm and been heavily involved with Suffolk bowls clubs.

Paul, 97, and Pamela Pettit, 90

The couple are staples of the Suffolk community, having run The Bull pub in Bacton, farmed pigs on Cherry Tree Cottage Farm and been heavily involved with Suffolk bowls clubs. - Credit: Supplied by family

When asked the secret to their long-lasting marriage, Paul turned to Pam and jokingly said: "Why are you stuck with me?"

Pam simply replied: "I love him."

Pamela met Paul serving behind the bar at the California Club, run by Pam's parents Isabel and Henry Wright, in 1947.

They courted for five years and were married at St Andrew's Church in Rushmere on June 6, 1953.

After the ceremony, which Paul described as "remarkable", the wedding reception was held in The Garland at Rushmere, another establishment run by Pam's parents. 

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Paul worked as a factory manager in Palmers Green, North London, but "threw it all in" in 1963 to take over The Bull pub in Bacton.

Paul and Pamela Pettit in The Bull, Bacton

The couple took over The Bull pub in Bacton in 1963. - Credit: Supplied by family

Having not been all too keen on living in Hertfordshire, Pam was glad to return to Ipswich.

Their daughter Penny Stevens emphasises the community spirit her parents represented when they were landlord and landlady of The Bull.

She said: "It was a small village and everyone helped each other.

"They used to do a meals-on-wheels service for community members in hospital."

Penny conveyed one particular instance in which a girl from the village suffered extensive burns and was taken into hospital.

The girl's parents didn't have means of transportation, so Pam and Paul offered to drive them to visiting hours as often as they needed.

The couple also started a pig farm at The Bull, later moving to Cherry Tree Cottage Farm as it expanded.

In 1985, they bought a bungalow on Henley Road, Ipswich and retired.

On their post-retirement hobbies, Paul said his wife is an "excellent bowler" and was even president of Westerfield Bowls Club.

Paul and Pamela Pettit at a Bowls Club

Though Paul retired in 1985, the couple have remained active members of the Suffolk community and were heavily involved with bowls clubs. - Credit: Supplied by family

They were also keen travellers and their favourite place to visit was the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean - recommended by Pam as "paradise".

Nowadays, the couple say they do "a lot of reminiscing", reflecting on 69 years of their "marvellous marriage".

They have two daughters, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.