A couple who have lived in Holbeach for more than 50 years have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Lily and Harry Drawbridge, of Willders Garth, were married at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Wisbech, but soon moved to Holbeach, where they settled and raised their family.
What makes their sparkling anniversary even more remarkable is that Harry was told he wasn’t expected to live beyond 50 years of age because of ill health!
Harry (87) and Lily (79) have four children - Colleen, Anne, Gordon and Maria - and 10 grandchildren, plus two great-grandchildren, Lily and Amelia-Lily.
The couple first met at a dance, held at Wisbech Drill Hall. Lily agreed to Harry walking her home in the rain, then to a date the following day.
Unfortunately, though, Army man Harry was sent to Germany the following day - and although the couple kept in touch via letters, it was two years until they saw each other again - before Harry was sent off again, to fight in the Korean War.
Unbeknown to Lily, Harry wrote to her parents while he was away, asking for her hand in marriage - and he was told he could marry their daughter . . . if he left the Army.
So Harry stood at ease after six years’ service and the couple were wed on Easter Saturday, 1957.
Harry had a variety of jobs over the years, mostly working as a mechanic, including a spell at Wisbech fire station, while Lily brought up their children and did seasonal work, such as strawberry picking, to earn some extra money.
Lily is also known to many generations in Holbeach, having worked as a cook at George Farmer School (now University Academy Holbeach), in Park Road.
“I was only meant to go for two weeks and ended up staying for 21 years,” she laughed. “I really loved that job.”
And Lily’s love of cooking for the masses didn’t even waiver on Thursday’s diamond anniversary, as she prepared 30 meals for hubby Harry and his friends at the British Legion Outreach Club in Long Sutton - but she didn’t have to do the cooking when she was treated to a sit-down meal with all the family on Sunday.
The couple also shared a love of bowls - helping to found Long Sutton Indoor Bowls Club 30 years ago.
Harry served as president of the club for many years, while Lily was club secretary and together they founded a junior section.
Harry has had to stop playing through ill health, but Lily continues to enjoy the sport, playing in Spalding.
“It’s a long time,” said Lily, “but we made 60 years.”