The milestone of sixty years of wedded bliss was marked recently by a Skegness couple.
Beryl and Eric Damms celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with friends and family at Poplar Farm restaurant in Addlethorpe, near Ingoldmells.
The pair met at a Sheffield church in 1951 when Eric had been given leave from his National service, having been posted to an RAF bombing range in Suffolk while having his wisdom teeth extracted.
If this had not been the case, the two believe they would perhaps have never met, but they later married on Saturday, April 2, 1955 in Sheffield and honeymooned in Southport.
In 1956 their eldest son Bryan was born and Beryl and Eric then bought their first house in Doncaster.
Second son Andrew followed shortly after and then their only daughter Lorna, during which time Eric took up a teaching course. After teaching in Doncaster, he was offered the headship at a school in Hogsthorpe, moving to Skegness for Christmas 1969. After three years, Eric became headmaster at Spilsby County Primary School, while Beryl became a medical secretary at Skegness Hospital, in a career which lasted 20 years, before taking early retirement.
When asked why she thought their long marriage had been so successful, Beryl said: “Because after 60 years, we still love each other.”
However, their married life was not without sadness as both Andrew and Lorna tragically predeceased the pair.
Eric said: “Over 60 years we have both learnt how to exercise tolerance and support each other the best we could - losing two of our children was a massive blow and without each other we simply would not have made it through.”
The couple are regular churchgoers at St Matthew’s Church, Skegness.
They also have a great-granddaughter, called Olivia.
The pair cite their highlights of 60 years of marriage as their three children being born, watching their grandchildren growing up and holidaying with friends in Scarborough and other places.
Eric, a former president of Skegness’ Church Farm Museum and St Matthew’s Church warden for 23 years, has recently retired as an almoner at Men’s Probus, visiting the sick, and also served as a magistrate until the age of 70.
Beryl, an accredited lay minister, enjoys spending her spare time sewing, knitting and painting and is treasurer of the local lady’s probus club.
The pair also recently received a card from the Queen to congratulate them on their diamond wedding.