Openness the key for Geoff and Maureen

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 October 2016

Geoffrey and Maureen Folland celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Geoffrey and Maureen Folland celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Archant

Communication is the key to a successful marriage, according to a globe-trotting couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today (Thursday).

Geoffrey and Maureen Folland celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.Geoffrey and Maureen Folland celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Geoffrey, 83, and Maureen Folland, of Brookhayes Close, Exmouth, have travelled across the world, but their marriage has been an adventure in itself.

The couple, who have faced financial hardship and the loss of a loved one, believe openness has got them through difficult spells.

Maureen said: “We share everything, including money.

“Communication is a very good basis for a marriage. Perhaps there’s not enough talking in relationships today.”

Maureen met Geoffrey when he approached her during a cricket game in 1952 at Lockleaze, Bristol.

She said: “I went with a friend to see an opposing side play. Geoff and his friend came across and said ‘can I get you two ladies a couple of deck chairs to sit on’ and that is how it started.”

The couple, who moved to Exmouth in 1970 and are life members of Exmouth Cricket Club, married in 1956. A few years later, Geoffrey, then 29, decided to return to education at Bristol University to study social work. By the end of his studies, the couple had three children.

Former mental health teacher Maureen said: “Our lives got more interesting when we married. We had a hard time because we were on an education grant, but it paid off.”

Geoffrey said: “University was the best thing I ever did.”

Their third child, Claire, was born with spina bifida, a condition where the spine doesn’t develop properly. She died at the age of three.

Maureen said: “It was a very hard time. ”

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