Former Newmarket town mayor Bill Burch and his wife Sheila are celebrating their diamond wedding today.
The couple met ‘over the phone’ when Bill was doing his National Service with the RAF doing his National Service at Debden and Sheila was working as a telegraphist for the GPO. He took a call which led to several more at the end of which the pair agreed to meet in Cambridge to see a film.
Romance blossomed and the couple were married in Cambridge where Sheila, now 83, was born and lived the early part of her life.
Bill, also 83, was born in Newmarket and lived his early years in Newton Terrace with his parents Harry and Mable and three brothers David, Douglas and Tony and his sister Betty. After leaving school he got a job as an apprentice mechanic at the former Moons garage in Newmarket’s Bury Road, now ATS After his National Service he worked at the town’s former Steele Griffiths garage in Newmarket. They couple lived at Dullingham Ley, before moving to Adastral Close in Newmarket on the birth of their first son Christopher, two years later their second son Graham was born. In 1978 they moved to Seymour Close in 1978, before their final move to Paget Place.
Sheila worked for British Gas while it carried out the work converting Newmarket to North Sea Gasand later as a secretary at the nurses’ training school and at Newmarket Hospital.
Bill Went on to have several jobs including working as a hydraulics engineer for Webbs of Exning, before joining CI Caravans as a sales representative. He became general manager of its Fairholme factory in Bury St Edmunds until it closed in 1983. He then set up a small caravan repair business in Soham until he retired.
Bill was elected to the newly formed Newmarket Town Council an 1999 and became Mayor in 2007.
Bill still lives in Newmarket in Paget Place, whilst Sheila is being cared for at Kentford Manor.
“We feel blessed to have had such a long and happy life together and are proud of the way that we have lived our lives and of our family,” said Bill.