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Best mates for 60 years

PUBLISHED: 12:15 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 07 July 2010

Peter and Doreen Osborne at their Dereham home

Peter and Doreen Osborne at their Dereham home

Kathryn Cross

It was love at first sight for Peter and Doreen Osborne when they met at a dance in 1948. They were engaged within three months and on Saturday they celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Peter and Doreen on their wedding day, August 1, 1949

It was love at first sight for Peter and Doreen Osborne when they met at a dance in 1948. They were engaged within three months and on Saturday they celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

The couple both grew up in New Barnet, Hertfordshire, going to schools at different ends of the town. But when they finally met at the Saturday night dance they knew they were made for each other.

“I was dancing with a sailor at the time but Peter came up and asked me to dance with him,” said Mrs Osborne, now 81. They got engaged on St Swithun's Day and were married on August 1, 1949 at the town's Holy Trinity Church.

Mr Osborne was working as a postman and earning £5 3s a week which he said was a good wage in those days.

“The postal service was seven days a week and I would start an early shift at 5am,” he said. “We even delivered on Christmas Day. The only day off was Boxing Day. If you posted a letter at 11am it might be delivered that afternoon. I was a telegraph boy for a while as well and we would do four deliveries a day.”

Mrs Osborne left school at 14 and started work as a hairdresser but after they married she worked for Standard Telephones making optical lenses for binoculars.

The couple, who have no children, spent their free time travelling the countryside on their motorbike where Mrs Osborne would ride pillion until they got a sidecar. They then progressed to their first car, an Austin A30.

After nine years of marriage they moved to Harlow where Mr Osborne had been offered a job with a house and stayed there for 17 years before moving to Stansted and then retiring in 1986 when they moved to Dereham.

“I was stationed in Norfolk during the war and we also had friends nearby so we liked the area and we have been very happy here,” said Mr Osborne, now aged 83, whose main hobby was bowls with the Dereham St Nicholas club until about three years ago.

They are also keen gardeners and say their secret to a long happy marriage is being great friends and doing everything together.

“I've got no complaints,” said Mrs Osborne. “We are just great mates.”

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