Diamond couple’s love story has taken them around the world

Eric and Nancy Brocklebank

Eric and Nancy Brocklebank - Credit: Archant

A couple from St Ives who travelled to some of the most exotic countries in the world have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Eric and Nancy Brocklebank, both 82, of Fairfields, were wed in Leven Parish Church, in Yorkshire, in 1957 after growing up in the county.

“When Nancy was a year old her father uprooted and went to work in a different part of the county to where we lived,” Eric, who was stationed with the RAF for more than 30 years, told The Hunts Post.

“When she was 19 she came back to one of the other villages that was near the village where I lived in East Riding.”

It wasn’t until they were both 21 though, that Eric, who had just returned from the Suez Canal, plucked up the courage to speak to Nancy.

“He saw me hanging clothes out and then went to his cousin’s and he said, ‘Who’s that?’ and she said, ‘It’s Nancy, she’s just come to live here.’

“He then says, ‘Will you make a date with her for me?’ And I said ‘If he wants to see me, he can make a date with me himself ’.”

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And perhaps their love story was always destined to be, after they discovered their births were registered one after the other on consecutive certificates – Nancy listed as

entry 352 in the district of Skirlaugh, and Eric as 353.

“We went to see the parson at the vicarage who took our birth certificates and we didn’t know they were consecutive numbers,” Nancy said.

“Eric was born on September 8 and I was born on September 24, and Eric’s mum didn’t register him until she got up, but my dad had registered me straight away. It was weird, but maybe it was meant to be.”

In August 1956, Eric had left the RAF to work in a shipyard, but decided to return in 1958.

The aircraft engine mechanic was then posted to Kenya from 1962 to 1965, where he and Nancy welcomed two sons – Allan, 59, and Martin, 57 – and lived on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Eric was also posted back to Yorkshire before heading out to Malaysia for three years in 1967, and has worked in other places like Oakington, Scotland, Brampton, and Wyton, where he left the RAF in 1988.

“I did a lot of work on aeroplanes and if there was a problem Eric would look after it. That’s how it was,” he said, also remembering a time he had to fix a helicopter in

the middle of a jungle in Malaysia.

The couple have lived in St Ives for more than 40 years, and are grandparents to five children, and great-grandparents to another five.

Asked what the secret is to 60 years of happy marriage, Eric said: “There are occasions when you disagree but you get over that.

“I tell people how lucky Nancy and I have been. We’ve had a wonderful life, we’ve been here and there, and we still travel all over Europe.”