Bicycle made for two – Alfred and Irene from Stevenage celebrate 65 years of marriage and a shared love of cycling

Left to right, mayor of Stevenage, Councillor Pam Stuart, Irene Sturgess, Ian Chambers, Angela (fami

Left to right, mayor of Stevenage, Councillor Pam Stuart, Irene Sturgess, Ian Chambers, Angela (family friend), Alfred Sturgess and mayor's consort Mr Tony Turner enjoying high-tea at the Brewery Tea Rooms in Walkern. - Credit: Archant

A loving couple whose shared love of cycling helped bring them together, have just celebrated their 65th – Sapphire – wedding anniversary.

On Thursday last week, Alfred and Irene Sturgess who live at Jubilee Court care home in Stevenage, marked the occasion with a special afternoon tea at the Brewery Tea Rooms in Walkern.

The couple enjoyed talking about how they met and sharing memories of their wedding day whilst sipping a glass of champagne with their high-tea.

They were joined by Jubilee Court’s activity coordinator Ian Chambers who organised the celebration, and a close friend of the couple named Angela.

The high-tea concluded with a visit from the mayor of Stevenage Councillor Pam Stuart and her consort Tony Turner, who presented Alfred and Irene with a card and flowers.

They all enjoyed a cup of tea whilst chatting about Alfred and Irene’s life together.

The couple met when Irene was just 16, but sadly they were forced to put their relationship on hold due to Alfred being in the army. When Alfred returned home the pair were quickly reunited since a friend of Irene’s informed Alfred where he could find her on her usual cycle route. The couple became keen cyclists and often enjoyed long distance rides together.

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They married at Barnet Parish Church on July 5, 1952. Irene was 21 and Alfred slightly older at 24. They then went on honeymoon by train to Paignton in Devon and stayed in a B&B in Babbacombe.

Shortly after their marriage they moved to Stevenage where Alfred worked for Kodak. They went on to have two sons and one daughter and have since been blessed with four grandchildren with a great grandchild on the way.

The couple marked their own anniversary celebration by taking a holiday together which is why the high-tea had to be slightly delayed.

Alfred who is now 89 and Irene, 86, could not believe that everyone had gone to so much effort and thanked the mayor for joining them on their very special occasion.