Love may have been in the air for Valentine’s Day on Saturday but, for one West Norfolk couple, that love has lasted for more than seven decades.
And today, rather than February 14, is the special day for Ephraim and Joan Green, who are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.
They still live in Great Massingham, just a few minutes’ walk from the church they were married in exactly 70 years ago.
Today, members of the couple’s 60-strong family, which spans three more generations, will be joining them for a celebratory meal.
And their daughter Anita Splude said the whole family was “very proud” of Ephraim, 92, and Joan, 88.
Ephraim quipped: “When we came out of the church, we had one argument and it’s still going on.”
But Anita added: “They’ve argued like other people but they have always looked after each other.”
There were still several months of the Second World War left as the couple, who met at a dance in the village they have lived in for most of their lives, married in its St Mary’s Church on February 17, 1945.
On their wedding day itself, American forces were conducting bombing raids on targets around the Japanese capital, Tokyo, as the conflict continued to rage in the Far East.
Ephraim’s work as a gamekeeper meant he avoided active military service, but maintained an association with the land that continued into his late 80s.
Anita said: “He was still going down and helping my nephew Matthew Darlow, who does that job now, until two or three years ago.”
Joan also worked on the land for a time, having initially remained at home to look after the couple’s 10 children.
And Anita believes such a busy life has helped to sustain her parents over the years.
She said: “They have kept active all their lives and keeping fit has kept them going.”
As well as their 10 children, the couple also have 22 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
Many of the family still live in short driving distance of their home on the Summerland estate.
And Anita said they would be taking them to the Rose and Crown pub in Gayton to enjoy a special anniversary meal.