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Botesdale couple mark diamond day

PUBLISHED: 09:50 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

Grandchildren from as far away as Madrid and Edinburgh travelled to help Botesdale couple Albert and Helena Sharp celebrate 60 years of married life.

The couple, both Londoners, married in All Saints Church in Edmonton, north London, and stayed in the capital until 1986 when they moved to Botesdale.

Grandchildren from as far away as Madrid and Edinburgh travelled to help Botesdale couple Albert and Helena Sharp celebrate 60 years of married life.

The couple, both Londoners, married in All Saints Church in Edmonton, north London, and stayed in the capital until 1986 when they moved to Botesdale. But they had strong links with the village before that as a friendship with Jean Simonds (later Jean Bennet) led to many family visits to Suffolk.

Albert was a company secretary and director of a successful scrap metal merchant for many years. When he retired and moved up here, he decided not to give up work completely, so he took a part-time job that kept him in touch with the village, serving petrol in the local service station until well into his seventies.

The couple became involved with village life, working hard for the Royal British Legion and the women's section of the legion. Helena also became secretary, chairman and is now president of the local Forget-Me-Not club.

They have five surviving children as the eldest, Richard, was born in July, 1949, but died within hours of his birth.

Diane was born in June 1951, followed by Raymond in May 1953, Karen in June 1957, Wendy in November 1959 and Andrew in March 1965. There are 12 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren with a tenth on the way.

The family celebrated with a short family service of thanksgiving at Botesdale Methodist Church and the couple then enjoyed a weekend away with their five children and their partners. The climax was a big family diamond wedding anniversary party in Botesdale Village Hall.

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