Malmesbury's surprise, surprise!
Friends and family of a diamond couple are helping them to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this week.
This surprise article in the Gazette is just one of the plans loved ones have to celebrate the anniversary of Ivy and Les Telling of Malmesbury.
The couple, who were both born and brought up in Malmesbury, married at Chippenham register office on September 6, 1952.
Throughout the years, the great-grandparents to four have lived in Charlton, Burton Hill, Athelstan Road and finally Parklands.
“They are a very lovely couple and I just wanted to do something for them as a surprise,” said long-time family friend Sheila Lowes, who lives in St John’s Street, Malmesbury.
“Les loves his gardening and he loves to work outside when he can. Ivy just loves to help and she loves people coming to the house; the kettle is always on.
“I have been friends with them for probably 40 or more years.
“They moved in to Athelstan Road where we used to live when their youngest was three years old.”
Mrs Telling, 81, will be known throughout the community for her fundraising and support for local groups and clubs over the years. At the age of 14 she worked at Burton Hill School and over the years has done various jobs including work as a dinner lady and home help.
After the birth of the couple’s three children, Valerie, Martin and Barry, Mrs Telling supported the Crudwell Majorettes with fund-raising and social events.
She also helped at the local swimming club, and in the 1960s/70s she fundraised for the local Cubs and ran a carnival bingo in support of the Malmesbury Lions.
Mr Telling, who turns 90 on September 19, served in the Royal Artillery in the Second World War before going on to work at the then Ekco factory on Swindon Road, where there is now housing. He stayed there for most of his working life before moving on to work for Linolite as a storeman.
His passions include playing the piano and accordion, performing, in the past, for residents at Burnham House His daughter Valerie Slade, of Corsham, said: “I think Mum will be over-the-moon about the article in the paper. She has got a wonderful sense of humour.
“Mum and Dad are so different; they are like chalk and cheese and that’s what makes it work.
“Mum is happy and friendly and Dad is just likes to get on with things; he’s very much a home person.
“They are fantastic parents; they are like best friends to me.”
The couple also have six grandchildren, Fern, Jasmine, Georgia, Maria, Steven and Sophie.
They have four great grandchildren called Daniel, Chloe, Joshua and Harley-Lee, who was born on August 28.
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