Bourne’s golden couple say fun is marriage secret

Mavis and Chris Notley. By Lee Hellwing
Mavis and Chris Notley. By Lee Hellwing
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‘Respect and having fun’ is the secret to a long marriage according to a couple who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary this week.

Mavis and Chris Notley, of Bourne, met when they were teenagers at a dance at Swinstead Village Hall in 1964.

Romance soon blossomed and they wed in 1967 at St John the Baptist Church in Baston on the Monday August 28, which was a bank holiday.

Chris, 72, a footballer for Bourne FC at the time, insists that it was a perfect day to hold the wedding.

“We got married on a Monday because there was no football then,” Chris joked.

Chris played centre half for Bourne from the ages of 11 to 29 and was part of the side when the club won the United Counties League Premier Division three times in the 1960’s. He later became chairman of the club and helped fundraise for its first set of floodlights, which were installed in 1990.

Mavis, 71, is well known in Bourne for running the Ring O Roses flower shop in North Street in the town until it closed in 2002. Mavis won many plaudits for her work and was even asked to provide flower arrangements for Princess Anne, the Queen and stars such as ice skater Jayne Torvill.

Mavis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980 but the condition has not stopped her from being active.

The couple have two children, Glenn and Cleone, who like their father were keen sportspeople.

Chris and Mavis spent much of their time when their children were growing up travelling around the country to watch hockey player Cleone, who had trials for England and Glenn, a footballer who played for several clubs, including Bourne Town FC and Spalding United FC.

The pair, who have two grandchildren and celebrated their anniversary by having a meal with family and friends at the Woodhouse Arms in Corby Glen, insist respect for each other and laughter has ensured they have always been happy.

Chris, who also ran his own building firm, said: “We have had a lot of respect for each other, I do not think people try enough these days. We have always been there for each other. It has not always been easy we have had our problems - I have had heart and hip problems and Mavis has had her multiple sclerosis but we mucked in and helped each other.

Mavis added “laughing a lot” has been a key part to their successful marriage and said she would live out the past 50 years with Chris all over again.