Family always at heart of 60-year marriage

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Love, friendship and family has been at the heart of a 60-year marriage.

Joseph and Eileen Elliott celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary quietly yesterday but had a family gathering earlier this month.

The couple’s four children Aileen, Johanne, Jennifer and Victor joined them along with their own families. All the family wanted to be together for this milestone celebration but with three of their four grandchildren due to resume university studies an earlier date was necessary.

Joe, now 82, and Eileen 78, say family has always been at the heart of their lives and they believe it has cemented their marriage.

The couple attributed their long and happy marriage to “love and friendship” and a lot of “give and take”.

Their friendship started at a local dance at Houghton-on-the-Hill where Eileen lived. Joe was from the neighbouring village of Billesdon. He regularly made the three-mile walk to see Eileen during their two year ‘courtship’. They married at St Catharine’s Church in the village.

In 1969 the couple moved their young family to Oakham. Joe continued to work at Pollards in Leicester while Eileen found work at Strickland’s Bakery, the Crown Hotel and later with Oakham Social Services.

The couple survived a serious car crash two years ago so reaching their anniversary is all the more poignant. They are now fighting fit thanks to the care of their family.