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Couple to mark diamond wedding in coronavirus isolation

Pat and Brian Cottrell, of Holt,with the great-grandson Zac, who is 22 months old. Picture: Supplied by the family

Pat and Brian Cottrell, of Holt,with the great-grandson Zac, who is 22 months old. Picture: Supplied by the family

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It was almost 60 years ago to the day that Pat and Brian Cottrell strode arms in arm out of the doors of Saxthorpe church after saying their vows.

Pat and Brian Cottrell, of Holt, on their wedding day on April 2, 1960 at Saxthorpe church. Picture: Supplied by the familyPat and Brian Cottrell, of Holt, on their wedding day on April 2, 1960 at Saxthorpe church. Picture: Supplied by the family

And although their diamond anniversary on April 2 won’t be quite what they might previously have hoped, they are still determined to have a good time celebrating in pandemic-induced isolation at home.

Mrs Cottrell, nee Hill, grew up in Corpusty and Brian lived in the nearby village of Wood Dalling.

The phrase ‘remember, remember the fifth of November’ was soon to carry a different meaning for them beyond the Gunpowder Plot for which it is infamous.

Annette Everitt, one of the couple’s three daughters, said: “They met at Corpusty bonfire.

Pat and Brian Cottrell, of Holt, (second and third from left) on their wedding day on April 2, 1960 at Saxthorpe church. Picture: Supplied by the familyPat and Brian Cottrell, of Holt, (second and third from left) on their wedding day on April 2, 1960 at Saxthorpe church. Picture: Supplied by the family

“They would have been about high school age.

“They carried on going to the bonfire every year as a tradition - they went for many years.”

Mrs Everitt said, if nothing else, their anniversary would be an unusual one.

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She said: “We would have had a big family meal.

“We’ll still be taking them cards and presents, but we’ll have to leave them on the doorstep instead.”

Alongside raising their children, Mr and Mrs Cottrell ran a gardening business between the 1970s and 1990s.

After ending the gardening business, they ran a popular touring caravan site at Candlestick Lane in Holt.

They did this until 2002, when they decided to sell up and move to a smaller property.

Mr Cottrell became known around town for his love of vintage tractors, and they both have green fingers.

Mrs Everitt said: “They spend quite a lot of time in the garden, which is handy at the moment because they can’t go anywhere else.

“Dad has still got tractors in his shed which he tinkers with - he buys them and does them up and sells them.

“They also like keeping each other company and doing not very much at all.”

Mrs Everitt said the couple also had eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild - a little boy called Zac, who turns two this year - and another due in June.

She said: “They’re family means everything to them.”

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