Seventieth birthday celebrations

When Ethel and Charlie Doyle tied the knot on a sunny Easter Sunday day, a pint of beer was only eight pence, the average house price was �550, and King George VI was still on the throne.

When Ethel and Charlie Doyle tied the knot on a sunny Easter Sunday day, a pint of beer was only eight pence, the average house price was �550, and King George VI was still on the throne.

But the couple whose love lasted through a world war and has seen 15 changes of Prime Minister took a trip down memory lane as they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

The couple's Norfolk home was showered with gifts, cards and flowers at the weekend - including a telegram from the Queen - to mark the platinum landmark.

Mr and Mrs Doyle said they could not believe that it had been 70 years since their wedding day in London on Sunday April 9 1939.


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The grandparents, who have lived in a Saffron Housing Trust home in Wymondham for the last 15 years, said they did not regret a minute of their long marriage.

Mrs Doyle, 89, said it was 'love at first sight' when they first met outside a south London pub on November 11, Armistice Day, in 1936. Three years later and the couple got hitched at St Jude's Church, in Peckham.

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But just a year into their marriage, the young lovers were temporarily separated when Mr Doyle, now 92, was called up to serve with the Royal Ulster Rifles and latterly the London Irish Rifles during the second world war. He returned home in 1946 after postings in Africa, the Middle East, Italy, and Yugoslavia. After the war he worked in a factory that produced emery cloth and later went on to become a watchmaker and repairer.

Mrs Doyle, who worked in a munitions factory during the war and was a wardrobe assistant for the Black and White Minstrel Show for 15 years after the war, said the last 70 years had been a 'bit of a blur.'

'We have just plodded along. We have had our ups and downs, but we have looked after each other and our health is not too bad. Everyone struggled in those days and nothing came easy, but we stuck together and we made it work,' she said.

Mr and Mrs Doyle, who have two children and four grandchildren, had a party at their home with family and friends on Good Friday to mark the anniversary.

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