Northampton couple who wrote letters to each other for two years before meeting celebrate 70th anniversary

The couple shared their secret to a long, happy marriage
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A Northampton couple is celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary after they met in a miraculous way.

Bob and Thelma Emmerson, separated by a continent, wrote to one another while Bob was serving his National Service in Egypt, before meeting in March 1953 and getting married months later.

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Thelma, 88, and Bob, 90, from Walgrave, are now celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary after reaching the milestone on November 7.

Bob and Thelma's engagement photo from 1953.Bob and Thelma's engagement photo from 1953.
Bob and Thelma's engagement photo from 1953.

Bob said: “I was sitting in a tent in Egypt, and I got a letter from Thelma. We talked for two years but never met.

“It was an unusual way to meet your wife.”

The pair were married on Saturday November 7, 1953, but Thelma noted that they did not have a honeymoon.

The wonderful couple went on to have a family of three children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Bob and Thelma celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.Bob and Thelma celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.
Bob and Thelma celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.
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She said: “We didn’t have a honeymoon. We were married on the Saturday, but he was still with the army.

“He was supposed to go on the Saturday, but because of the wedding he had to leave for his two-week training camp on the Sunday, and I went back to work.”

To celebrate, the couple were able to have a little get-together with family and friends last week.

Thelma went on to share the secret behind their long and happy marriage.

She said: “We work together and help one another.

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“We're always there for one another, especially when we need each other. And we do things together - that’s a happy marriage.”

The couple share an allotment, enjoying their time gardening, and used to be very fond of going to the gym as a couple.

Bob remains active, participating in the parkrun, where he has completed more than 500 runs, with Thelma speaking proudly of her husband.

She added: “My husband runs still. I used to run but never more than a half marathon. He was a very good runner, getting records and doing ultra-marathon distances.”

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But she did add that she does not go to watch Bob’s running as much anymore: “I go down when it’s a big occasion like a birthday or a race, but I refuse to get up early for it anymore.”

With the couple celebrating 70 years together, it is amazing to see how far they have flourished from those two years of written letters.

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