A woman who spent her career helping people celebrate their wedding day is marking a landmark anniversary of her own.

Rosina Brown, of Stocksfield, was an expert designer and maker of wedding and bridesmaid dresses, helping many families' special occasions become even more glamorous.

Now happily retired, Rosina and her husband Alan have reached 60 years of wedded bliss and are today celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

They are set to enjoy a special meal at home – and hope it won’t be long before the family will be allowed to join them for a well-deserved party together.

Much has changed in the world since 1955, when the couple first met as teenagers in Gateshead following Rosina’s upbringing in an orphanage.

They were married in 1960 at the Venerable Bede Church in Gateshead.

Rosina became a jewellery consultant at the Northern Goldsmiths in Newcastle, while Alan worked as a draftsman before becoming a maths teacher at a school in Heaton.

The pair took up ballroom dancing, and the years they spent pounding the boards as a couple paid off as they were eventually crowned Northern Counties Amateur Ballroom Champions.

A love of dancing, combined with her creative flair, led to Rosina becoming an expert in the design of ballroom dresses.

She joined forces with a business partner in London and the dresses were manufactured and distributed from the capital.

A decline in demand for ballroom attire saw Rosina establish the successful Rosina Brown Bridal enterprise, which she led with distinction until retiring in 2014.

For decades, many a wedding report published in the Hexham Courant featured stunning outfits from Rosina, who ran shops in Hexham and Stocksfield.

Alan was a keen runner and a member of Gateshead Harriers. He competed in no fewer than 31 Great North Runs, only stepping back in recent years. He continues to walk regularly and keep himself active.

The couple have two grown-up children; Jackie who lives at Stocksfield, and Steven, who resides in Somerset; and four grandchildren, Thomas, James, Charlie and Freddie.

Asked for the secret of a long and happy marriage, Alan joked: “Social distancing,” but there is no doubt this couple have stuck together in support of each other and their family with love.

When lockdown is over, they deserve to enjoy a special celebration of that special day back on November 19, 1960.