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Surprise from New Zealand for anniversary couple

PUBLISHED: 09:37 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 22:00 07 July 2010

A COUPLE celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary received a surprise gift when their son arrived for a visit all the way from New Zealand.

A COUPLE celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary received a surprise gift when their son arrived for a visit all the way from New Zealand.

Maureen and Brian Taylor married on March 19 in London in 1960 surrounded by family and friends, and 50 years later their loved ones were reunited, plus the couple's three children, Susan, 49, Pete, 46 and John 42, as the vows were renewed.

But a surprise was in store as just days before the service their eldest son, Pete Taylor arrived. Mr Taylor had travelled more than 11,000 miles from Wellington for just a week as part of a covert trip organised by the couple's children as a surprise for their parents.

“Susan said she had brought a cake round and asked if we would wait outside until she'd decorated it,” said Mr Taylor, 73, a retired dockland worker. “Then she brought us in and Pete was sat here,”

Mrs Taylor, 69, a retired switchboard worker, added: “Of course we both looked at the table first because we were expecting a cake so I just saw his feet and looked up and there he was. It was lovely.”

The trip was organised by all three of their children and decided during Mr Taylor's last visit to England at Christmas, 2008.

Pete Taylor, who retired as a staff sergeant from the army after 20 years before moving to Wellington seven years ago, said: “It was difficult because I could have conversations with Susan and John, but had to be careful what I said to my mum and dad. It's nice having us all together though.”

Mr and Mrs Taylor met in 1959, when he was 23 and she was 18, on a blind date organised by a mutual friend, and have not looked back since. Their first date, to the cinema, was a success and the pair married at St Anne's Church on Berwick Road in London.

“We met in a café and she came up to me and said 'are you Brian' and I looked at her and thought cor,” said Mr Taylor.

The pair, who now live on Norfolk Road in Thetford and have three children, six grandchildren and one step great grandchild, initially lived with Mr Taylor's father on the Isle of Dogs in London before branching out on their own and moving to Bow in East London.

They then settled in Dagenham in Essex before moving to Thetford in 1972. On Saturday , the family celebrated the renewal of Mr and Mrs Taylor's vows at St Mary's Church in Thetford before holding a reception at their house.

Mrs Taylor said: “We've always said the hardest job was bringing up three children. You just have to hope you're doing it right and doing the right thing.

“Over the years whenever we've had a disagreement we've always worked things out. We've never argued in front of the children and if we did have a disagreement we always sat down to talk about it before we went to bed.”


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