Golden wonders set to celebrate
A couple from Royston who have spent the past 15 years dedicating their spare time to helping others celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Friday). Don and Iris Elliot of Briary Lane were childhood sweethearts. But it was not until Iris, 70,
A couple from Royston who have spent the past 15 years dedicating their spare time to helping others celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Friday).
Don and Iris Elliot of Briary Lane were childhood sweethearts.
But it was not until Iris, 70, was orphaned at the age of 12, and moved in with her aunt who lived next door to Don in Tottenham, that they spent more time together.
When she was 17 Iris began dating Don, now 72, and just three years later they were married.
They tried to get on a housing register in London but there were already 20,000 people on it.
Don said: "We moved to Royston and it was reported in The Crow that there were only seven people on the waiting list - we couldn't believe it."
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When they moved to Royston in 1960 Don was an engineer for BT and they bought a new house in Briary Lane for £2,295 and have lived their ever since.
Iris, 70, said: "When we moved to Royston we used to sleep in the front room, and every morning we had to crawl out on our hands and knees because we didn't have any curtains up.
"But even though we had nothing when we first moved here we were still very happy."
Since then Don and Iris have had a daughter and son, and now have seven grandchildren. Don retired from BT after 41 years, 15 years ago.
In their spare time they have always enjoyed helping others and are well-known for their community work.
Don has driven the mini-bus for Royston Day Centre and Herts Association for the Disabled and Iris has done voluntary work for animal rescue.
At one point they were working five days a week unpaid. However, now they just help the Forget-Me- Not Club one day a week.
Iris said: "The people there have become like family. You get attached to them."
Both Don and Iris have both received community awards for their voluntary work.
Iris said: "We have always really enjoyed doing it. We are both very sociable."
They also like going to France in their motorhome, and Don enjoys gardening.
He said: "I've always liked being outside.
"When we were younger and didn't have much money I used to watch tradesmen work and pick up tips so that I could do jobs around the house myself. It was a lot cheaper."
They said the most memorable thing for them during the past 50 years was having their children.
"Our children have been our world," Iris said.
On Saturday they will be celebrating at a party with friends and family.