A couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a family lunch in Oakham on Sunday.
Eric and Margaret Townsend’s actual big occasion was on Thursday last week when they spent a quiet day at home after receiving a greetings card from The Queen.
“We had a lovely day on Sunday at The Admiral Hornblower in Oakham but celebrated over a whole week really,” Margaret said.
The couple also attended dementia singing group Rutland Reminders Christ-mas party on Tuesday last week when members and friends sang them The Anniversary Waltz.
Eric, 82 and Margaret, 78, live in Grampian Way, Oakham and have three children - Patricia 58, Michael, 56 and Carolyn 54, plus eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
They were married on December 5, 1953 in the parish church in Margaret’s home village - Frisby-on-the-Wreake near Melton.
The couple met at Melton Corn Exchange Saturday night dances while Eric, from Wiltshire, was doing his national service at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps centre at Melton. They lived in Wiltshire for two years where Eric trained as a mechanic, before moving to the Melton and Oakham area.
He worked for Manton Engineering and the former Woodall Duckham plant hire company at Oakham before his retirement.
Margaret worked in the wages office at Chappies pet food factory in Melton and then at George’s Haberdashery in Oakham’s High Street for 14 years. Her final job before she retired was at Walkers Bookshop in Oakham where she stayed for 18 years.
Margaret’s hobby is knitting and sewing while Eric is a member of the Melton and Distrct Model Engineering Society which meets at Whissendine.
He also has a fine collection of large matchstick models which he has made. The couple also enjoy getting get out and about using their bus passes.
And their tried and tested recipe for spending 60 happy years together? “Never go to bed on an argument, always kiss and make up,” Margaret said.