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01/08/2014

Determined Walsall couple celebrate Diamond wedding anniversary

WHEN Stan Edmunds discovered that his love interest was leaving her job, he didn't want to lose sight of her that easily.

A regular customer at the Co-op store in Bridge Street, Walsall, Stan and his future wife Pat (nee Farnell) – who worked in the grocery – would tease one another whilst he did his mother's shopping.

But when Stan found out Pat was going to leave in 1949, he discovered where she lived and which bus stop she would get off following her last shift – and asked her out for a date.

And the rest is history, as the couple mark 60 years of wedded bliss today (Thursday).

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"She was good fun at the shop and we always used to have a laugh and a joke," said Stan, now aged 80.

"When she told me she was leaving I knew where she lived and which bus stop she would get off at, so I waited for her there. It was fair to say she was really surprised."

Pat, aged 81, added: "He was a nuisance but a good friend. We both share the same sense of humour. I just thought we were friends and never thought we would end up getting married."

The two courted for three years, with their first date at The Gaument Cinema in the town centre to watch I'd Climb the Highest Mountain.

But for two of those years, Stan was an instrument mechanic at the Royal Air Forces and was based in Lincolnshire.

Yet every weekend, he would borrow money off his parents and travel by coach back to Walsall to see Pat, who worked as an engineer at Brinks Bullows in Long Street.

On Christmas Eve 1952, Stan popped the question to Pat, who said the word he wanted to hear: "Yes." Family and friends then turned out for their wedding at St Matthew's Church on July 31, 1954.

The couple moved into their home in Warwick Street, Walsall and went on to have three boys – Raymond, now aged 58; John, now 57 and Alan, now 53.

In their six decades of marriage, the devoted duo have had to overcome the odds together.

Twelve years ago, Stan was diagnosed with esophagus cancer and he underwent an operation.

After a 12-month battle, he was given the all clear.

"I was more worried about Stan but we both just got on with it," said Pat. "Somebody had to be strong."

In 1993, the couple moved to their new residence in Allport Mews, Cannock.

The couple used to enjoy rambling and were members of Walsall Group of the Ramblers.

But Stan recently suffered a knee injury and both have had to give up their beloved hobby.

They now enjoy spending quality time with their family, which includes seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

And on Saturday (August 2), the couple will celebrate their Diamond wedding anniversary with a family party at The Longford in Cannock.

But what is their secret to a long, happy marriage?

Stan replied: "Patience. And turning a blind eye to certain things."

"We look after each other and we have done that throughout our marriage," added Pat.

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