Seniors help diamond duo celebrate big day
By Mid Devon Gazette | Tuesday, October 02, 2012, 08:00
A TIVERTON couple for whom romance blossomed on war-time trips to the cinema celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last week with friends from Tiverton Senior Citizens.
Cyril and Phyllis Baker celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary marcus thompson EXMT20120921G-001_C.JPG
On the anniversary day itself – September 20 – Cyril and Phyllis Baker were presented with a cake and a bouquet of flowers at their weekly meeting at Old Heathcoat School Community Centre.
Phyllis said: "Eric [Shapland] the chairman did us proud. It was wonderful, and the entertainment for the day was Shirley Cousins and her ladies, and everything they sang was appropriate for us."
The couple have been members of Tiverton Senior Citizens for 20 years, during which time Phyllis said they had known "good times and bad times" and were grateful for the support other members of the club had provided.
To mark their anniversary the couple asked not for gifts but donations to charities supporting research into Lupus and asthma, raising a fine sum of £300.
Phyllis, 84, was born in Tiverton while 85-year-old Cyril was born in Mountain Ash, in Wales, but moved to Devon at an early age.
Phyllis said: "His father was a Devon man but after the First World War he went to Wales to work in the coal mines. It was 1929 and his father wanted to come out of the mines and moved the family back to Devon."
After leaving school at 14, Phyllis went to work in the mending department at Heathcoat's factory where she remained for around 30 years. It was in the factory that she met Cyril, who worked there for more than 40 years.
The couple, who married in St Paul's Church, live in a retired factory worker's bungalow belonging to the Knightshyaes estate.
Phyllis said: "I was one of five sisters in the family. My older sisters went off to do war work in various places but I stayed at home because I was younger. My brother who was born in 1940 had bad asthma and I helped to look after him because I was old enough. He used to get spoilt because he had five big sisters."
Stuck at home while her sisters were aiding the war effort, Phyllis said there was not much to do in Tiverton during the war.
"You couldn't go very far, the black-out was on, but me and Cyril use to go to the cinema and then back home," she remembers.
The Bakers, who have eight grandchildren, also had a big family gathering at the Ruffwell Inn at Thorverton.