A COUPLE who are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary have said love, respect and patience is the key to a healthy marriage.

Barbara, 84, and John Norris, 89, from Bridgwater, celebrated the happy occasion with a family meal and a surprise garden party.

The pair tied the knot on July 28 1956 in Pawlett Church, after meeting back in 1955 at a dance in Pawlett Village Hall.

They have three children, a daughter and two sons, as well as wo grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Barbara worked as a Tupperware manager for nearly 50 years and John worked in Cryptons for most of his adult life as a sheet metal worker.

"When we said our vows I think we both meant it and its wonderful that were still together," said Barbara.

"For our 60th anniversary we had a big garden party, but this year my daughter decided we would have a smaller dinner because of Covid.

"But then we had a small garden party with friends which we didn’t know about – I hadn’t any idea at all, I didn’t even think about it, I was very surprised."

Bridgwater Mercury: 65th wedding anniversary ; John and Barbara Norris ; Bridgwater

The couple's youngest son came back from Canada this year after 10 years, and so Barbara and John were grateful to have all their family members together to celebrate.

"It was the best part for us to have our family close by – we are very family orientated," Barbara added.

"I think the secret to a happy marriage is...well, the first thing is definitely love.

"Everybody has their ups and downs, so I think the key is love, respect and patience. Patience is a virtue.

"Right from the word go, John and I knew we would always be together."