Diamond duo mark 60 years

PUBLISHED: 14:49 07 September 2007 | UPDATED: 21:48 29 May 2010

Very much in love, John and Fred McHugh Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

Very much in love, John and Fred McHugh Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

DIAMOND couple John and Freda McHugh are celebrating today (Thursday) after dancing their way through 60 years of marriage. The Springfields couple met at a dance at the Southampton Guild Hall in late 1946, and now, six decades on, they still enjoy going

DIAMOND couple John and Freda McHugh are celebrating today (Thursday) after dancing their way through 60 years of marriage.

The Springfields couple met at a dance at the Southampton Guild Hall in late 1946, and now, six decades on, they still enjoy going out dancing.

Talking of the secret to their marital success, Freda put it down to: "Dancing and bowls. We have always enjoyed dancing and still go out to tread the dance floors at places like the Dunmow Friendship Club, and the Royal British Legion Club in Felsted. It's an excellent way to keep fit while having lots of fun.

"Also, since we retired, we have taken up playing bowls. In the summer we play at Dunmow Bowling Club. During the winter we play at Turpin's Bowling Club in Saffron Walden," said the Dunmow woman.

As for giving advice to those couples just setting off in their married live together, Freda says: "Doing things together is very important. Also, you have to learn to give and take and help each other."

John was in the RAF when they met, and Freda had recently been demobbed. However, Freda explained that she wasn't aware of John's military occupation until he took her on a date to watch his beloved Southampton play football. He arrived, apologising for still being in uniform.

After their marriage in 1947, John and Freda lived together in Southampton before moving to Chelmsford where they got a council house in 1949.

In the same year, Freda gave birth to their son, Michael who now lives in Sheffield and is an architect. Five years later they had a daughter, Linda, who now lives in Rainham, Essex.

In 1963, John became headmaster at Great Easton Primary School prompting them to look to moving closer to the school.

They moved to Dunmow in 1965, buying their home in Springfields from 'Old Mr Harris', who was a well-known character around the town.

John took the headmastership at Great Dunmow Primary School in 1975, retiring in 1984.

Freda worked as a receptionist, secretary and dispenser at Rood End Surgery, Stortford Road, Dunmow, for 14 years until she retired in 1985.

The couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary early with a two-week cruise around the Baltic capitals in July.

This week, they are going to celebrate things a little more quietly by going for a meal with their children and grandchildren, Victoria, 29, Kieran, 27, and Gregor, 22.

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