Dennis and Pamela Charman of Devizes were hoping to let the occasion of their diamond wedding anniversary pass without any fuss.
But their son Peter spilled the beans and the couple, from Nursteed Road, Devizes, agreed to speak to the Gazette about their 60 years of wedded bliss.
The couple were married at St James Church on September 27 1952 and are planning a quiet family dinner early next month – unless their loving family spring another surprise on them.
Mr and Mrs Charman, who are both 82, met at Southbroom Senior School – now Devizes School – as 12-year-old pupils. Mrs Charman said: “My cousin Malcolm was in the same class as Dennis, who is a few months older than me. I had to take something to their teacher and my cousin told me afterwards that Dennis had said to him: “Oh, she’s very tasty, very sweet.”
It was several years before the couple got together officially and they were married after Mr Charman returned from doing his National Service with the RAF. Mrs Charman had been working at Oliver’s wool shop and had just won a job at Boots the Chemists, where she worked for the next 35 years. Mr Charman got a job with the Southern Electricity Board.
The couple moved in with Mrs Charman’s parents, Frank and Joyce Hudd, in the house in Nursteed Road where they have lived ever since.
In 1972 they had the chance to buy the property from W.E. Chivers, the company for whom Mr Hudd had worked. The couple have two sons, Peter and Paul, three grandchildren, Laura, Richard and Jack, and two great-grandchildren, Poppy and Noah.
And the secret of a successful marriage? Mrs Charman said: “You’ve got to work at it. Young people sometimes give up at the first sign of trouble, but the best marriages are those where people work out their problems together.”