Couple follow in their parents’ footsteps with 60 sparkling years

Dot and John Burgin, centre front, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at Flaunden Village Hall
Dot and John Burgin, centre front, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at Flaunden Village Hall

A husband and wife celebrating six decades together are remembering their parents who also marked their own marriage milestones.

John and Dorothy Burgin tied the knot at St Lawrence Church in Bovingdon on August 13, 1955, and celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a party at Flaunden Village Hall last week.

Keen bowls players Dot and John Burgin celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a bowling green cake

Keen bowls players Dot and John Burgin celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a bowling green cake

But the day was extra special for the pair, as Mr Burgin’s late parents Eddie and Beatrice Burgin celebrated 50 years together and Mrs Burgin’s parents Theodore and Dorothy Brand also marked 60 years – and both couples were featured in the Gazette for their marital achievement.

Mrs Burgin, 81, said the secret to a happy union was ‘just getting along and sharing the same interests’.

She said: “We don’t fall out too much and you just take life as it comes.

“We get on and help eachother out – if I do the cooking, he’ll do the washing up.

“We both enjoy gardening and we love playing bowls.”

The pair, who live in Flaunden, met while they were both working on a poultry farm between Bovingdon and Chipperfield in the early 1950s.

Mrs Burgin, who worked for the British Red Cross for 33 years, said: “I was about 17 when I first met John, and he was 21. He used to wave at me from the tractor!”

The couple courted for four years before they were married in 1955. After the poultry farm closed down, Mr Burgin – now 85 – went to work for his wife’s father, while she went to join the British Red Cross, where she served for 33 years as an ambulance driver and beauty care instructor.

They then went on to set up a paving slab business from their small holding in 
Flaunden, from which Mr Burgin retired in 1995.

The pair had four children – David, Roger, Julie and Maria – and now have seven grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and three-month-old great-grandchild Arabella.

Mrs Burgin and her husband keep active with weekly tennis matches and games down at the bowling green.

The sporty great-grandmother is one of the founding members of the Bovingdon and Flaunden Tennis Club, and has also bowled at tournaments across the country.

But Mrs Burgin isn’t just a winner on the court or the green – she has won the 
Flaunden village pancake race several years running, the last time being when she was 77.

She said: “I’m quite a competitive person and I’ve always been a sprinter, so when they asked me to take part, I did and I won.

“They asked me to do it again the next year but I said no, I wanted to go out on a high!”