George and Joyce Oliver marked a milestone in married life on Boxing Day, with their 70th wedding anniversary.
Thirty members of their family and friendssurprised the couple with a party at their home at Evelyn Sharp House in Adeyfield, to celebrate their Platinum anniversary.
It was love at first sight for Joyce and George when their first met on a patform at Clacton-on-Sea railway station in May 1945. They married on December 26 that year.
But the pair had been pen pals for three years before that, during the Second World War, after George’s sister, who worked with Joyce in the munitions factory, asked Joyce to write to George, who was with the Army in Egypt.
Joyce and George exchanged letters for three years and eventually met in Clacton during George’s first home leave after four years in Egypt.
Now aged 94 and 91, George and Joyce remain independent, and Joyce still does the shopping every week with their youngest son, Anthony.
It was Anthony who organised the party on Sunday, in the communal lounge of their sheltered accommodation.
Among the guests were grandchildren, great grandchildren and Joyce’s brother David and his wife, who had come up from Dovercourt.
Anthony said his parents were surprised but delighted.
“They had a lovely day,” he said.