A COUPLE who have been married for 60 years say the key to a healthy relationship is tolerance and friendship.

Wendy and John Parmenter, from Alresford, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today.

John, 83, and Wendy, 80, met when Wendy was just 13 years old.

She said: “My sister and brother-in-law had a farm in Copford and John came to work on the farm in 1951.

“I was 13 at the time, but then he went to do his National Service for the Army in Egypt and I didn’t see him for a while.”

Wendy was 17 when the pair officially became an item.

She was living in Copford at the time, working at the Essex and Suffolk Insurance Company.

John, who lived in Stanway, continued to work on the farm for some time.

The couple married three years later.

They have two children - William, 56, and Jane, 54.

Wendy gave up work after giving birth to William, and John worked in various other jobs before finishing working life at a printing company.

Wendy said: “We have our disagreements from time to time but it’s about tolerance and friendship more than anything.”

The couple, who have three grandsons, are celebrating with an anniversary lunch and a meal with the whole family.