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Diamond day for Fenland couple who say music is key to their long marriage

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Music has definitely been the food of love for one Fenland couple who are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary today (Wednesday).

Beryl and John Frisby met at a Saturday dance at the Rose and Crown Hotel in Wisbech in December 1957.

John was home from doing his National Service with the RAF at Bovingdon near Hemel Hempstead and Beryl, who was from March, was at the dance for the first time.

Beryl and John Frisby have been married for 60 years. (49962328)
Beryl and John Frisby have been married for 60 years. (49962328)

By Christmas the following year the couple were engaged and they tied the knot three years later on August 11 1961 at St John's Church in March.

When John finished his national service he attended King Alfred's College in Winchester to complete two years of teacher training, while Beryl worked for the Ministry of Agriculture in March.

After completing his training John got a job teaching at Westwood School in March. He went on to teach at various other schools including Peckover and Gorefield and was briefly head of music at the former Queen's School.

Beryl and John Frisby on their wedding day 60 years ago today.
Beryl and John Frisby on their wedding day 60 years ago today.

He was appointed head of the newly built Brington School in Huntingdonshire and held the post for five years before returning to Wisbech, where they have lived for the past 50 years.

John completed his teaching career as head of Friday Bridge School, where he worked for 15 years.

Beryl gave up work when the couple's children Alison Shippey and Howard came along.

Both Beryl and John were keen singers and both were members of March Operatics in the early days of their marriage, while John was also a member of Wisbech Operatics, taking the lead in a number of shows.

He also sang professionally with a number of swing bands across the country including the Johnny Harris Orchestra and also with Cy Payne.

John was resident singer for 14 years at the Hotpoint Club in Peterborough.

Beryl was a founder member of the Fenland Singers, which became national champions in 1960, and she sand on the stages of both the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.

The couple, who have four grandchildren and three great grandchildren will be celebrating their landmark anniversary with a family party.

What's their secret to a long and happy marriage: "Music, music is the food of love," said John, who added: "I have had a wonderful life, and Beryl has been the best part of it."

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