It really was a match made in heaven for Saxon Street golden wedding couple, Bob and Valerie Burton, who first met on a tennis court.
Seventeen-year-old Valerie was a Sawston girl while Bob had moved into lodgings in the town as he had moved from Dorset to work at the Babraham Institute. “Tennis was one of the few things there was for young people to do and that’s where we first saw each other,” said Valerie.
Three years later they were engaged and on June 5, 1965, they were married at St Mary’s Church in Sawston.
“I think Val’s dad was a bit wary of me to start with because I had come from Dorset and was a bit of an outsider,” said Bob, now 75, “but he came round in the end.”
The couple spent the first years of their married life in Sawston where Valerie, who is now 71, worked as a secretary for a local firm but also ran six keep fit classes a week across the Newmarket area on behalf of the local council.
It was in 1972, by which time they had had two daughters, Tracy and Sharon, that they moved to Newmarket where they lived in Hill Close. They later lived in Burrough Green before moving to their current home in School Road in Saxon Street 19 years ago. They now have four grandchildren aged between three and 20.
Bob, who is a former member of Wood Ditton parish council, worked at Babraham for 40 years before retiring and since then the couple have travelled all over the world. They are also National Trust members and enjoy visiting its houses as well as reading and walking.
And the key to being happily married for 50 years...”It is not a roller coaster more of a roundabout, our ups and downs are gentle ones,” said Bob. The couple celebrated their special day with a family party at their home.