Couple celebrates 60 years of marriage and claim ‘tolerance’ is the key to a long and happy partnership.

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SIXTY years ago George and Phyllis Dark were walking down the aisle of St Michael’s Church in Torrington.

On Thursday the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, and claim ‘tolerance and a bit of give and take’ is the secret to a happy marriage.

“We feel very lucky to have reached 60 years together and still be fit and healthy, it’s quite an achievement,” said George, 83.

He and Phyllis, 81, who live in East-the-Water, met at a social event in Torrington and courted for two years before they were married.

They lived in Horns Cross where George worked as a pipe fitter at the old Yelland Power Station, before becoming a plumber for North Devon Farmers.

After some time he moved to work for the water board and worked his way up until disaster struck at the age of 37 and he ended up having a kidney removed.

“We got through that, and I then became superintendent of the area for the water board in a more managerial job,” said George.

“I needed to do something a little less ‘hands on’.”

The couple had three children, Derek, Trevor and Teresa, and Phyllis looked after them as well as taking in foreign students coming to North Devon to learn English.

“We could have as many as three or four students at a time; it was a busy household,” she said.

In 1992 George took an early retirement but even now still volunteers driving for the local St John’s Ambulance Service.

The couple enjoy regular holidays abroad and are hoping to visit France in June.

“We had a big celebration for our 50th anniversary so this one we’re planning on just a quiet one with our family,” said George.

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