Lasting love began as friendship for teenage sweethearts Alan and Veronica Hoose – and now they have just celebrated 60 years of happy marriage.
The devoted Dunstable couple first met as teenagers in a church youth group.
Romance blossomed and after four years, they married at St Chad’s Church in their home town, Burton upon Trent, Staffs, on Christmas Eve, 1953.
Alan, a past president of Dunstable Downs Rotary Club, had joined the RAF and the young couple wed while he was on leave over Christmas.
Sixty years on, Alan, 79, and Veronica, 80, have one son, a daughter and five grandchildren, and have lived in Dunstable for more than 20 years.
Alan said: “I don’t know what I’d do without her!”
Veronica, a retired teacher, said: “We can’t imagine not being together.”
They held an ‘open house’ on Christmas Eve as part of their diamond wedding anniversary celebrations.
And the momentous milestone was marked with a special card from the Queen.
The sociable couple both attend the Priory Church, Dunstable, and are former members of DAOS (Dunstable Amateur Operatic Society).
Alan was a parachute jumping instructor in the RAF’s physical education branch for many years, and trained the ‘Red Berets’, before becoming a training advisor in the world of local government.
Asked what advice they would offer to a young married couple, Veronica said “give and take” was important. Alan said: “You have to support each other through life, in the hard times and the good times. We have had some wonderful times!”