ON August 2, 1954, a young man was not to know what would result from a walking holiday in Devon. At 9pm, he met a girl during the social evening and “clicked”.

Alan and Mary Orme, now of Netherfield Close, Alton, married three years later, on June 1, and 60 years on have celebrated their diamond wedding with a service at Alton Baptist Church on Mount Pleasant Road, followed by lunch at The Maltings Centre, organised by their two daughters, Judith and Helen.

Like for so many people, life was never easy. In the first 10 years of marriage Alan had four jobs, Mary had three children, and they had four houses. When he was forced into early retirement, Alan took a master’s degree before they moved to the “very rural delights” of Shropshire.

David and Zena, Judith and Christopher and Helen and Graham, with their seven grandchildren, have been “a delight” to them, and the couple were pleased they were able to share their diamond anniversary celebration with them.

Asked the secret of their long marriage, Alan said: “Stay in love and always be ready to say ‘yes dear’ to end any disputed views [and Mary was usually right!].”

Mary’s health has declined since moving to Alton in 2013 and she is now in Marlfield Nursing Home in Gilbert White Way. She welcomes visits from one or more of her family and friends on most days.

Alan and Mary’s faith has helped them through the good and the tough times, with the certain knowledge that the future will be far better.