AN elderly couple have said it was “wonderful to relive cherished memories” after recreating their wedding day at the church where they married six decades ago.

Jean Ruffles, 88, who is a resident at Silversprings care home, in Tenpenny Hill, Thorrington, tied the knot with husband, Derek, 84, 63 years ago.

The ceremony took place at Langham Church where the pair had regularly attended Sunday School together as children.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, and with their anniversary coming up in April, Silversprings staff decided to surprise the couple with a trip to down memory lane.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Giving them the chance to show the care team around the place they so frequently and fondly talk about, Jean and Derek were taken back to Langham Church.

They were then encouraged to relive their wedding to the full, with the devoted couple recreating their wedding photos while sharing fond memories of the day.

Jean said: “I loved the trip out – it was so special going back to the church and seeing the grounds. I even saw the window of the house where I used to live.

Derek added: “It was wonderful to relive those cherished memories of us both stood at the top of the aisle on our special day.

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“Being back at the church also brought back fond memories of the time we spent at the church together as children – standing where I used to sing as a choir boy.”

Jean and Derek first met as children, when Jean’s father worked as head gamekeeper at Langham Hall estate and Derek’s father worked at the same estate as a chauffeur.

Jean attended Derek’s third birthday party, and the couple remained friends as youngsters until beginning a relationship in their early twenties.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Joanne Rix, home manager at Silversprings, said: “Jean and Derek often talk fondly of their wedding day, sharing happy stories and fond memories of the special ceremony.

“This is why the team here at Silversprings thought it would be the perfect opportunity to surprise the happy couple by taking them back to the church.

“Jean and Derek were thrilled to return and couldn’t stop smiling all day - they had so many happy memories to share and the pair loved recreating their photos.

“We understand how important activities which prompt reminiscence can be, and it was wonderful to see how vivid Jean’s memories of the day were.

“We’re thrilled Jean and Derek had such a lovely time.”


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