Childhood sweethearts with decades of fond memories marked a diamond occasion surrounded by their loving family.
Ken and Margaret Lupton have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
The pair, who have three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild, met when they were just 14, and have been almost inseparable ever since.
Their family whisked them away for a special weekend in Teesdale – something Ken described as ‘magnificent’ – to mark the occasion.
Mr Lupton, 82, and Mrs Lupton, 81, of Meadow Drive, Hartlepool, married at St Luke’s Church, in Tunstall Avenue, in 1957, and put their long-serving marriage down to always being there for each other.
Ken – who wrote an athletics and later a walking column for the Mail for many years – said: “We met when we were just 14 and have just always cared for each other since then.
We met when we were just 14 and have just always cared for each other since thenKen Lupton
“We’ve always done everything together and supported each other in everything we’ve done.
“We both had a big party when we turned 80, but decided we didn’t want another big party for the anniversary.
“We wanted it to be much more quiet and the family took us away for what was a magnificent weekend.
“There were 16 of us there and it was a perfect way to mark the occasion.”
The weekend away was organised by Ken and Margaret’s children – Anthony, Cathryn and Emma.
Among those there was the newest addition to the family, the Luptons’ seven-week-old great-grandson, Bobby.
The Luptons have been keen on sports throughout their lives.
Ken has been heavily involved with running club Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers for decades, and ran at a county standard in his heyday.
He also started a walking group, which took part in events on a monthly basis.
Margaret, meanwhile, still enjoys going on regular walks with Ken, and also plays tennis.
Ken added: “I’ve been a sportsman all my life, and Margaret has always been very fit as well.
“She started playing tennis 40 years ago and is still playing now.
“We still keep fit by walking regularly.
“We’re also very keen on musicals, and must have seen every one going over the years.
“I got involved with the Hartlepool Stage Society, and eventually progressed to playing lead roles.”
Ken completed his national service in the Royal Engineers less than a year after the wedding, having been a gas engineer before that.
He went on to be a teacher, and worked in schools across the town until retiring aged 60.
Margaret, meanwhile, worked in a bank before becoming a social worker, and going on to work in a school office.