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Childhood sweethearts who met when working next door to each other celebrate 60 years of marriage

PUBLISHED: 08:40 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 13 March 2019

Irene and Mick Hills, both 81, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary at their home in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Irene and Mick Hills, both 81, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary at their home in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Childhood sweethearts who worked next door to each other say having a laugh and “getting on” is the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Irene and Mick Hills, both 81, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary at their home in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYIrene and Mick Hills, both 81, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary at their home in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Irene and Mick Hills, both 81, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday, March 7, hosting a party 60 years after the day of their wedding.

Both originally from Downham in London, the couple moved to the Elm Road estate in Thetford in 1964 as part of the London overspill.

Mr Hills, who worked as an engineer at Thermos in the town for around 30 years, said the secret to a long and happy marriage was to “have a good laugh now and again”.

He said: “I think you have got to be happy. We have always got on well. It must seem a long time to people but it has flown and we are best of friends.”

Mrs Hills added: “Some people ask us how long we have been married and then ask how well do we get on and, well, surely if you didn’t get on you wouldn’t be still together.”

The couple met at the age of 15 while Mr Hills worked in a Co-op and his future wife in Larkham’s Bakery on the same road in London.

She said: “I was out with my friends riding around and I happened to look over the road and I said ‘I know that fella over there, he works next door to where I work’.

“He waved and we just went by and we met later on in the park.”

The couple got married on March 7, 1959 less than a year after Mr Hills finished his national service in Cyprus.

He said: “We just started going out on and off for 18 months and then we started going out together and we were engaged when we were 18 before I went in the army so I’ve known her 66 years.”

They have lived in Elm Road, Hardy Close, Mundford, and Redgate Estate before moving into Lord Walsingham Court three years ago.

The couple also have a son, Paul, who is 55, two grandchildren, Lucy and Joe, and a great-grandchild, Florence, who is only three months old.

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