Disco meeting led to marriage

Helmut and Gerry Zimmermann

Helmut and Gerry Zimmermann

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A ROLLER disco date led to 60 years of marriage for a happy Stamford couple.

Helmut and Gerry Zimmermann, 85 and 80, of Barnack Road, Stamford, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary yesterday.

The pair met in Skegness in 1948, when Helmut used a slightly unusual method to woo Gerry.

“I had seen her walking around town with her friends, and she caught my attention a few times,” said Helmut.

“I wanted to meet her and I saw her at a roller disco one night, so I accidentally on-purpose bumped into her. We got talking from there.”

Helmut was born in East Germany, and was a prisoner of war at the time he met his future wife. But he became naturalised in the 1950s and has lived in Lincolnshire ever since.

Gerry said: “We got to know each other and realised we both liked each other very much.

“We were married in Lincoln, I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. It was a glorious day with bright sunshine.

“I can’t believe it’s been 60 years.”

The pair moved to Stamford not long after their first son Paul was born in 1952. Helmut worked as a blacksmith at Burghley Estates, where he got to know Lady Victoria Cecil, now Lady Victoria Leatham, and competed in blacksmithing competitions at agricultural shows.

Helmut added: “We moved away for a while but Stamford draws you back. It’s a lovely place.”

The couple have two sons, Paul, 58, and Nigel, 53, as well as two granddaughters. Both Paul and Nigel served in the Royal Navy.

Helmut is a keen indoor bowler and gardener.

Helmut and Gerry do have the occasional quarrel, but think that married life would be boring if they agreed all the time.

Gerry said: “Before we got married the vicar told us that you should never let the sun set on a quarrel, which we’ve tried to stick to.

“We’ve had some very happy memories, and we hope to have a great many more.”

The couple will celebrate with a party at the Garden House Hotel in Stamford tomorrow.