Couple celebrate 50th anniversary

GOLDEN MEMORIES: Fred and Ethel Staples, from Cambridge Way in Bures, toasted 50 years of marriage on Friday.
GOLDEN MEMORIES: Fred and Ethel Staples, from Cambridge Way in Bures, toasted 50 years of marriage on Friday.

A BURES couple’s festive season was extra special this year.

Fred and Ethel Staples, from Cambridge Way, celebrated their golden wedding on Friday.

The couple were married at Colchester register office 50 years ago, but their romance nearly fell at the first hurdle when their paths crossed at Colchester’s Fleece Hotel, which Mr Staples was helping to refurbish.

“I worked there as a waitress,” said Mrs Staples, 78. “Fred was very shy, but a nice old man said ‘there’s a young man out there who wants a date with you.”

Initially thinking he was married, Mrs Staples turned him down, but the confusion was soon cleared up and he got his date.

“He came over in his car and it sort of went from there,” said Mrs Staples, whom Fred noticed because of her “long black hair and lovely blue eyes”.

The couple have a son, Neil, 48, and have lived in Bures, where Mr Staples, 86, a retired builder and water bailiff, was born, for around 40 years in total, with short spells in Glemsford and Sudbury.

“We’ve had our ups and downs,” said Mrs Staples. “But we have pulled together.”

The couple marked their anniversary with a celebration with 14 friends and family at their home.