A COUPLE are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today after 60 years together.

Colin and Betty Wilkie, from Haltwhistle, will be celebrating the milestone with a trip to the Lake District, courtesy of their daughter Ruth.

The Wilkie’s are familiar faces in the town, having lived there almost all their lives.

Betty explained that they met whilst working at a former paint manufacturer in the town.

She said: “We were working at the old Smith and Walton’s. The church hall used to run dances, but in Lent there was nothing on at the church and they were held at Smith and Walton’s, and that was where we met. Colin had just done his National Service.

Colin added: “I was in the RAF in Germany. When you went away at 18 you weren’t really interested in girls, but by the time you came back you were starved!”

The couple married at Holy Cross Church in Haltwhistle, but then moved to Wideopen for Colin’s new job.

After five years, fate brought them back to Tynedale, when Colin’s new employers bought up Smith and Walton’s and put Colin in charge at Haltwhistle, and they have been there ever since.

Colin worked as a colour consultant and interior designer for various companies in the area, while Betty worked as a school secretary at Greenhead and Haltwhistle first schools for around 30 years.

Colin and Betty have three children – Ruth, Stewart, and Jane – and five grandchildren.

Betty said the secret to their long marriage was doing things together: “We do a lot together – we’ve done a lot of walking, travelling, and the garden. Our garden won the award for the best in Haltwhistle three times!”