‘Love and lots of holiday’ - Norfolk couple’s secret to 70 years of marriage
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
A globe-trotting couple have described the secret to their 70-year marriage as 'love and lots of holidays'.
John Lister, 100, first set eyes on his future wife, Ella Lister, 91, when he was a teenager when she regularly walked to his family farm in Deopham to buy milk.
Those brief encounters led to their first proper date at the long-since-closed Half Moon, a village pub the couple later went on to run.
Mrs Lister said love gradually blossomed and they "grew together" which led to their wedding that took place on November 12, 1949, at Deopham church.
The couple fondly looked back on those post-war days as they celebrated their platinum anniversary with their friends and family, including Mr Lister's brother Robert, 92, at Thorp House nursing home in Griston, where they have lived since September.
You may also want to watch:
Mr Lister was called to serve in the 72nd Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, and joined the war in Normandy after D-Day. When he returned he worked on his father's farm.
In the mid-1950s, the couple took over the Half Moon, running the pub successfully for several years until the brewery closed it.
- 1 Man suffers life-threatening injuries in crash which closed A11 for several hours
- 2 ‘Play your part in history’ - army of Norfolk volunteers needed for Covid vaccine roll out
- 3 Norfolk coronavirus infection rates fall further
- 4 'Such a shame' - youth football club targeted by criminals twice in two days
- 5 Tea room to close for a week after coronavirus case confirmed
- 6 Why Norfolk districts cannot be in different Covid tiers - yet
- 7 Several weeks into lockdown, Norfolk sees sharp decline in coronavirus infection rates
- 8 Call for government to listen to Norfolk over Tier 1 move
- 9 Great British Bake Off star endorses charity's special lockdown recipe book
- 10 Howzat? Designer creates 3D printed cricket machine from Norfolk garage
Mr Lister then worked at Norfolk Agricultural Station, an experimental farm in nearby Morley, for more than 25 years.
He is proud to recall that over a two-year period he spent weekends building a bungalow, on The Green, Deopham, with the help of his brothers and in 1961 they finally moved in.
Mr and Mrs Lister have always had a passion for gardening and Mr Lister is a lifelong Norwich City fan.
He said: "I loved going to lots of games over the years and I still listen to the commentary on Radio Norfolk every Saturday."
When asked what the key was to their long, happy relationship, Mr Lister said: "Love and lots of holidays together."
The couple, who never had children, have previously visited Mr Lister's brother, Ted, 88, in New South Wales, Australia and travelled to the US as well as holidaying in every part of the UK.
Mrs Lister added: "At weekends we also enjoyed driving miles to try different pubs across the region."