A HAPPY couple raised a glass today to toast 60 years of wedded bliss.
Hartlepool couple Reg and Joy Thompson reached their landmark Diamond Wedding today and will be celebrating with family and friends over the Easter weekend.
The couple, who live on Hartlepool’s Brooke estate, met in the late 1940s at the youth club in York Road Methodist Church when Joy and her family moved south to Hartlepool from Scotland.
They tied the knot on April 21, 1951, after bringing the big day forward when Reg was called up for national service with the RAF and was posted to Malaya and Singapore.
Reg, 81, who worked in engineering before switching to teaching at Hartlepool College of Further Education and Brierton, is well-known in Hartlepool having forged links with the German town of Huckelhoven through a football exchange with youngsters.
His work led to Hartlepool being twinned with the northern German town and the couple still keep in touch with their contacts in German 40 years on.
Both Reg and Joy are keen bowlers, and have been presidents of Eldon Grove Bowls Club and the Indoor Bowling Club.
Joy, 82, a former primary teacher at Ward Jackson Primary School, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our Diamond Wedding, it is a nice milestone to get to.
“We’ll be celebrating over the weekend with family and friends, so it’s going to be hectic.”
The couple, who have a 57-year-old daughter Pat and son Michael, 54, who live in Staffordshire, also have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with a third on the way.
Reg added: “The secret to a long and happy marriage is having similar interests, learning to give and take, doing things together, enjoying each other’s company and having a loving family.”