'It doesn't feel like 65 years.' Queen congratulates Suffolk couple on wedding anniversary
PUBLISHED: 11:10 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:34 07 November 2018
A Suffolk couple have celebrated their landmark blue sapphire wedding anniversary with a card from the Queen.
Eileen and Peter Burch got married on Saturday, October 31, 1953, tying the knot at St Andrew’s Church in Melton aged 18 and 22.
Since they said their vows the couple have lived through the moon landing, England’s world cup win and the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as living under the rule of 14 different prime ministers and seeing nine different US presidents.
Mr Burch, who used to work as an NHS administrator at St Audry’s Hospital, in Melton, and Mrs Burch, who worked at Joe Lyon’s Bakery in Ipswich, received a message from The Queen to mark their 65 years together.
Mrs Burch said: “To get a message from the Queen means a great deal, we got one for our 60th and hopefully if we are still here we will get one for our 70th too.”
She continued: “It doesn’t feel like 65 years I must say, I don’t know where the time has gone. We don’t have a family but we’ve got lovely friends and lovely neighbours so we are very lucky really.”
The pair first met back in the 1950s when their families were good friends and Eileen went to Melton school with Peter’s younger brother, Michael.
In 1949 Mr Burch completed his national service, serving in Malaya, now Singapore, when he returned to England he got to know his future wife through Melton youth club, which they attended together.
The duo started dating after co-starring in a play called ‘Husbands Supplied.’
Mrs Burch said: “It was basically a bureau for women looking for a husband and each girl had to say what they were looking for.
“I remember going over to Peter, leaning in and saying ‘I need someone with deep, Mediterranean blue eyes.
“And he still has those blue eyes today. That’s when we started going out.”
The couple were married three years later, although Mrs Burch can’t recall how Mr Burch’s proposed.
“I can’t remember that,” she said. “I remember us sitting at the back of Woodbridge cinema and him telling me he loved me. But I don’t think he actually proposed it just happened.
“I also remember that my parents had to sign something to say that I could get married to Peter because I was under 21. They were happy to do it.”
Three years later the two were married with the wedding service costing them just £3.9s.3d, worth approximately £108.06 today.
When asked the ultimate question about the secret to a so-called ‘happy marriage’ Eileen was unsure.
She said: “I don’t know really, we’ve done it all together, gone on lots of wonderful holidays from Spain, to the Greek Islands and so forth.
“But we have our own things, Peter has his golf and I used to go on holiday with my mother.
“I would say ‘give and take’ but I don’t like to use those words, you just have to help and support each other.”