Diamond day for Sprowston couple

Just Regional
Sep 10, 2014 2 mins read

By Maurice Gray

Brenda and Alan Smith are very proud to be celebrating their diamond wedding which, they say, is all down to a chance encounter at the Queen’s coronation party in 1953.

“It all started 61 years ago when I went to a coronation dance at Wroxham Village Hall” said Brenda. “I was 19 at the time and I went with my mother.”

Brenda had not been there long before she noticed a tall, dark, handsome, young man looking at her and recognised him as being a passenger on the same bus she travelled to and from work each day.

“I didn’t know his name but he soon left his friends and asked me to dance” she recalled. “We spent the rest of the evening together and that was it.

“We kissed on the football pitch behind the village hall before he walked me home.”

Alan Smith was 25 and a popular player with Wroxham Football Club. He worked at Young’s Builders, having completed an apprenticeship to qualify as a carpenter.

Within weeks of meeting Alan suggested: “I think we’ll get married”. “I will think about it,” said Brenda. The couple married, on the August 7, 1954, at Wroxham Parish Church followed by a family reception.

Alan progressed to foreman and bought their first terraced house, in Norwich, for £150.

Brenda eventually left her job at Caley’s chocolate factory when they started their family.

Mr and Smith continued to support Wroxham Football Club, Norwich City Football Club and a league darts team at the Castle Pub in Wroxham, where Alan was captain.

Their first son, Nicky, was born in 1958, followed by Martin in 1962 and Darren in 1968. They now have four grandchildren.

Mr Smith worked at Young’s, which was taken over by Carters, as foreman until he was made redundant. He then worked for the city council until his retirement.

Alan, 86, and Brenda, 80, live in the Sprowston bungalow they bought in 1959. They enjoy reading, theatre and their garden. Brenda supports local charities and contributes knitting for fundraising.

They celebrated at the Racecourse Inn, Norwich, with family and friends and, instead of receiving presents, donations totalling more than £200 were given to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Targeted Radiotherapy Appeal.

Their secret for a long and happy marriage? “Treating each other as best friends, a good sense of humour and give and take.”

Brenda and Alan Smith diamond wedding


More of what's happening in Sprowston