GROWING up on neighbouring farms, two people who went to the same primary school but not senior schools, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on Saturday, April 15.

Dave and Monica Blanchford were married at Plymtree Church in 1963, there was still snow under the hedges near the end of that long, harsh winter.  They have shared their life in Crediton ever since.

The eldest of six, Monica grew up in Plymtree, both were the children of farmers. She became Head Girl at Cullompton Secondary Modern School, David became Head Boy at Broadhembury School where he was a boarder. 

David’s family were farming and in 1945 took over West Town Dairy opposite St Lawrence Green in Crediton.

The cows were milked at the back and their fields included where Greenway has been built, Rumblings and a few of the other fields behind.

They were delivering milk in bottles around Crediton and selling from the Dairy.  

The Dairy closed more than 30 years later, became a bistro at the end of the last century and has since been converted into housing. 

Three years after taking over the Dairy,  David’s family moved to a farm near Plymtree which was how the two children happened to meet.  David joked that his courting was across two fields.  

Monica’s family is still farming in that area.  By the time they got married David’s parents had bought Priestcombe on the edge of Crediton where they had their dairy herd.  

Dave and Monica had one end of the old thatched farmhouse.  They both worked on the farm, then in 1968 Dave’s parents sold Priestcombe, David worked then at Spencecombe, buying Highfield near Yeoford in 1970 and began their milk round.  

“We began in Yeoford,” said David, “and then Venny Tedburn, Posbury, Crediton and Newton St Cyres.  We began with 30 gallons and ended up delivering 150 gallons per day.

“I was delivering milk with our daughters Ann and Jill while Monica milked our 30 cows a day. 

“By that time we had the four children.  We sold the milk round about 25 years ago and moved into Crediton, then we saw Hollacombe was for sale.  While we were there we created the two fishing lakes,” said David.

He had always been a football man.  He played for Kentisbeare, Cullompton and then Crediton.  Since 1964 he has done nearly every job with Crediton FC, including as president for the last three years.

While they were at Highfield Monica washed the players’ kit for five years, coping with their young children as well as the milking.   

Back then there were no children’s teams nor ladies, the club now takes children from the age of six and has two ladies’ teams as well as the one Senior team and a Juniors. 

For 21 years, from the age of 53, Monica worked in a local home for people with disabilities and says she loved it.

As well as their four children, their family now has eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  

They will be celebrating with a disco by Ian Cann at the football club where most of their other family celebrations have been held.