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‘We never argue’ after 75 years of marriage

Marion and Norman Harcourt. photo by Steve Robards

Marion and Norman Harcourt. photo by Steve Robards

They were born in the dark days of World War One, married before Hitler invaded Europe and celebrated their silver wedding when the Beatles were topping the charts in the 1960s.

After such longevity, Norman and Marion Harcourt have passed many milestones but there is one very special day round the corner - their 75th wedding anniversary.

And the secret of their wedded bliss - “We never argue,” said Marion.

Marion and Norman are in line for a congratulatory message from the Queen on their special celebration next Tuesday, and diamonds really will be Marion’s ‘best friend’ on the day for a 75th wedding anniversary like a 60th is a diamond one.

Reflecting on Norman and Marion, who have given so much love to each other and to family members over many years, grand-daughter Wendy said: “We as a family are very proud of them and think their anniversary is an amazing achievement.”

Norman, 98, and Marion, 96, married in Norfolk on April 8, 1939 as war clouds gathered over Europe. Like so many other war-time couples they spent a long time apart during the Second World War but their love for each other survived all the odds.

Norman served in Africa in the Pays Corps and was taken prisoner by German troops but he managed to make a run for it and escaped the prospect of a long spell behind barbed wire in a prison compound.

During Norman’s war-time absence, Marion worked in munitions and when they were finally reunited Norman became a familiar face in and around Burgess Hill as the driver of the number 35 bus.

Marion worked for many years in silk screening on the Victoria Industrial Estate and the couple made many friends in Hassocks where they settled in Ockenden Way.

Marion still lives at the family home and is cared for by a devoted friend, Lore Haug.

Sadly, Norman’s health has recently declined and a few weeks ago he moved to Forest View Nursing Home in Burgess Hill.

At 96, Marion’s memory is not quite as sharp as it used to be, but the couple spend time together when she goes to the day centre at Forest View twice a week.

The couple have a son, Nigel, grandchildren Neil and Wendy and two great-grandchildren, Ronnie and Daryl.

When the Middy interviewed Norman and Marion on their 70th wedding anniversary five years ago, Marion had some tips on wedded bliss.

“We don’t argue,” she said. “We are understanding towards each other and my husband is very calm and collected!”

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