‘It was hard time,but we loved each other’ – celebration for diamond couple

November 16 2016
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Maurice and Diane Stephens can remember their wedding like it was yesterday.

by Rebecca Day
Maurice and Diane Stephens can remember their wedding like it was yesterday.
“It was a beautiful sunny autumn day – a bit like it is today,” Diane recalled.
“We had all of the family there. We can even remember the name of the vicar who married us.”
This was on October 27, 1956 at St Gregory the Great Church in Filton Road.
Now 60 years on, the Stephens are proud to be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary and many happy decades together.
The Filton couple marked
the milestone occasion with a family meal and a party at Bristol Golf Club in Almondsbury,
which more than 80 close
friends and family members attended.
The party raised £230 for the Filton Chest and Heart charity, which Maurice has been involved with over the years.
Maurice, 88, and Diane,
84, met in their early twenties after Maurice returned from serving in the forces as an engineer.
They were introduced by mutual friends and got to know one another through being avid supporters of Bristol City football club.
“Diane lived in Horfield, opposite my two friends Charlie and Albert,” Maurice said. “We all used to catch the train together from Horfield station down to Ashton Gate to watch the football, and that’s how I got to know Diane properly.
“It was a few years after I met Diane that we decided that we wanted to be together.
“It was hard times back
then, and money was tight, but we knew that we loved each other, so we decided to get married.”
Maurice moved to Third Avenue when he was 11 after his home in St Paul’s was bombed during the Second World War. It has remained his family home ever since.
Since tying the knot, the Stephens have brought four children into the world – Philip, Kevin, and twins Ivor and Joanne – who have gifted Maurice and Diane with nine grandchildren – Tim, Becky, William, Sam, Naomi, George, Emily, Tom and Abby.
Over the years, the couple have enjoyed a number of wonderful family holidays, both abroad and in the UK.
A particularly memorable break was when they visited America in 2004 with their friends, and had the opportunity to tour the Grand Canyon.
Closer to home, they’ve enjoyed numerous trips to seaside towns Weymouth and Paignton.
“We’ve lived a very active life and have had some very happy times,” Maurice said. “We’ve got a good quality of life now – I’m still driving and we enjoy gardening and keeping the house in good order.
“We’re very proud to have such beautiful children and grandchildren. They’re so helpful and always on hand when we need them.”