An East Barkwith couple received more than 50 cards for their Diamond Wedding, but the one from Buckingham Palace holds pride of place.
Jean and Dennis Brader celebrated their 60 years of marriage with all their family at a party in the village hall and stipulated ‘no presents please’ but the many flowers indicate some of those ignored their request and they also have some roses to plant in the garden.
The former Jean West, the eldest of a family of six who lived in Atkin’s Cottages at West Barkwith, and Dennis, who grew up in East Barkwith, married at the now closed East Barkwith Methodist Chapel in 1955.
They met initially when Dennis’s sister married one of Jean’s brothers.
Sister Jean was then a bridesmaid and husband Maurice best man at Dennis and Jean’s wedding.
They spent their honeymoon in Bournemouth and had just managed to get the flat they were renting over the shops in Wragby Market Place furnished when tragedy struck just three months after the wedding.
Dennis was on his way home from work when he had an accident on his motorbike and had to spend 21 weeks in hospital.
Jean had to give up their new home and move back in with her mother, as it was to be a long time before Dennis was fit again and once he was able to return to work they had to set up home for a second time.
But this did not deter them and, after a dramatic start to their married life, they now have a family of five children - Graham, David, Rachel, Paul and Ruth, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren of whom they are very proud and who are obviously at the centre of the lives.
The family home at Wold View, East Barkwith was newly built when he moved there as a three-year-old, and Jean and Dennis moved back there in 1970 after his mother died, leaving his brother John on his own.
Now aged 87 and 82 respectively, it is still their home, along with John and their youngest daughter Ruth.
Rachel and her family are just next door and they look forward to visits from all their extended family as they now take life at a more leisurely pace.
Dennis had to take early retirement from the Wragby Plastics Factory due to ill health, but he still manages to get out and about often accompanied by grandson Andrew, as he is no longer able to drive.
The couple are both loyal members of the Methodist Church and since East Barkwith Chapel closed they attend Sunday afternoon services at Bardney Dairies, while Andrew and Dennis also attend morning services at the parish churches in the Barkwith Group.
They attend the weekly meetings of the Horncastle and Bardney Circuit Methodist Guild during the winter months and the monthly meetings of the Supper Club at the Wragby Methodist Church too, while Jean is happy to stay at home and keep daughter Ruth company with crosswords and cod words keeping her occupied.
They both attended the monthly meetings of the Barkwith Over 60’s Club until it closed and while Dennis has always enjoyed caring for his garden, he has had to leave that to John now.
He is a long-standing member of the Wragby branch of Disability Lincs and Jean joins him on the monthly social days for lunches at the town hall in the winter and coach outings during the summer.
And they received the congratulations of fellow members at the last lunch when they were also presented with flowers as their anniversary drew near.