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Head over handlebars in love for 60 years

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: February 23, 2013

BICYCLE TALE FOR TWO ... Eileen and Bill Walker from Gnosall, have been married for 60 years

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A HAUGHTON man and his Gnosall sweetheart credit a bicycle with steering them on course for 60 years of wedded bliss.

Bill Walker, 83, told the Newsletter it was pedal power that brought him to wife Eileen in the early 1950s with the romantic soul riding regularly from his own Haughton home to court his future bride in neighbouring Gnosall.

“He used to cycle over with a bunch of Sweet Williams,” said 78-year-old Eileen. “He still uses a bike now to pop to the shops and collect my pension and he’ll often come back with a bunch of flowers in the basket.”

The couple, of Masons Lawn in Impstones, Gnosall celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary earlier this month with a surprise party at the Red Lion pub in Derrington followed by a blessing at St Lawrence Church the next day and lunch with their family.

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One of their three children, Gordon, even flew in from his home in Louisiana in the United States to join in the celebrations alongside siblings Jane and Peter, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

They even had a message of congratulations from Her Majesty The Queen.

Former children’s nanny Eileen, also known as ‘Griff’ – an abbreviated version of her family name –met Bill, a farm labourer and factory worker originally from Rugeley on a blind date to Newport cinema arranged by her brother.

The couple moved to their bungalow 17 years ago after Bill retired from his last job as a service layer for Severn Trent Water and have played an active role in their community – running coffee mornings and a weekly bingo session for more than ten years.

Their neighbours in Masons Lawn, an independent living scheme run by Stafford and Rural Homes held a celebration for them in the communal lounge and presented them with a cake to celebrate the milestone.

“It was the best day of my life,” said Eileen. “We had a wonderful anniversary celebration. It was a joy to catch up with friends and relations and share our special event with them."

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