Sheringham couple celebrate 60 years of marriage

The idea of the "new man" was unheard of when Sheringham couple Frank and Melvy Pyke began married life 60 years ago, but, with Melvy working nights at as a nurse, it fell on Frank to take on his fair share of household chores.

And when son Robert came along, he often did the school run too. The couple, who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary two weeks ago, say the secret to a long and happy marriage is sharing, having their own interests and keeping busy.

"I always find something to laugh about and I think my good sense of humour keeps us feeling young too," Melvy added.

Frank, 86, and Melvy, 89, grew up living just yards away from each other on Beeston Common, but did not become friends until 1949, when they met by chance on a bus ride to West Runton.

"Frank was on his way to the circus and I was on my way to work at Longacre Maternity Home," Melvy remembered. "We got talking and things just went on from there."

They were married at Beeston Church on September 15, 1951 and, following a spell as a farmer worker, Frank, who served in the Far East with the Royal Navy during the war, took on the job of caretaker at Runton Hill School (now Kingswood Activity Centre), where he stayed for 34 years.

Meanwhile Melvy, who began her nurse training during the war with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, went on the enjoy a 40-year nursing career, working at local hospitals including Kelling and Cromer, where she worked in every department, from the children's ward, to casualty.

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After Frank retired in 1991, the couple lived at East Runton, before moving to a bungalow at Huntley Crescent, Sheringham.

They moved to a flat a few yards away five years ago and, although they have both suffered ill health in recent years - meaning Frank has had to give up his passion for gardening - they still enjoy a whole range of interests and activities, from attending Old Shannocks Club meetings for third generation Sheringham residents, to doing word puzzles.

They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a party for 42 family and friends, including a number of their wedding guests from 1951, son Robert and his family, Melvy's cousins from Colchester and Essex, and her five bridesmaids.