Dunmow golden couple reveal secret behind happy marriage

Jenny and Derek Gypps

Jenny and Derek Gypps - Credit: Archant

Golden couple Jenny and Derek Gypps celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday (March 12) – exactly 50 years to the day they were married in St Andrew’s Church, Barnston.

The couple, who have three children and seven grandchildren, enjoyed a dinner out with family and friends and afterwards everyone went back to their home in Dunmow to carry on the party.

Derek and Jenny met when he was 22 and she was 18, in what was then The White Horse pub in Great Dunmow.

Derek said: “I was just sitting in the pub, Jenny was with her brother, and he got a bit tiddly so I offered to take them home in a taxi.”

They were living near Barnston and he lived in Stebbing.

He said: “I asked her out for the next day and we’ve been together ever since.”

Jenny laughed when she was asked if it was love at first sight. She said: “Well I must have liked him, or I wouldn’t have gone.”

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Derek said the secret of a long marriage was “just being happy together”. Jenny added: “Just being there for one another and helping each other. Everyone has their ups and downs, we’ve sailed through them and we’re still together, three children and seven grandchildren later.”

Derek, 73, was a retained firefighter in Dunmow for 22 years. He remembers one uncanny escape, around 1978, soon after he joined.

He said: “There was a fire at an empty house in Bowyer’s Bridge (near Little Easton), it caught alight. I put on the breathing apparatus and I got to the door but something wouldn’t let me go in, I don’t know what it was. My colleague Eddie said he would put on the apparatus and he would go in. In the time it took me to take it off and him to put it on, the ceiling collapsed and the upper floor went, the whole lot came down. People said it was an omen.”