The key to a successful wedding? The three Hs say a Sunderland couple celebrating 60 years together

It’s the three H’s say Duncan and Ruth Foster from Sunderland who have celebrated their diamond anniversary – and that’s honesty, hard work and humour.

Nowadays, they have 3 sons, 8 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren to fill their lives with plenty of love and memories.

But they also looked back fondly on their earliest days and how it all began in the 1960s.

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Their son Andrew told us: “They were neighbours in Pennywell, mam having moved there with her parents after growing up in the East End and Ashbrooke, and dad after growing up literally in the shadow of Queen Alexandra Bridge in Low Southwick.

“Mam was a friend of my dad’s sister Valerie Foster. Mam had been visiting Valerie one evening and, as it was dark, Duncan was asked to walk Ruth home – and so began a friendship.

“Dad being 18 months older than Mam, did the right thing though and waited until Mam’s 16th birthday before finally asking her out to the cinema.”

It led to a blossoming romance and Duncan, 81, and Ruth, 79, – nee Lawson – have lots to reflect on since their marriage in August 1961 at St Thomas’ Church, Pennywell.

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Andrew added: “Once married, my eldest brother Stephen arrived after a couple of years, followed by Derek a few years after that. During this time Dad had joined Vaux Breweries as a Drayman and there he stayed until the brewery closed 32 years after he joined. “

Andrew arrived in 1975 and Ruth was also a success in her own career. She set up and ran a successful cake decorating business, producing cakes for weddings across the North East.

“Mam eventually returned to work in retail, most notably as an in store demonstrator where she became popular with shoppers at Sainsbury’s in both Washington and Silksworth,” said Andrew.

“They put the success of their marriage down to the “3 H’s”- honesty, hard work and humour. You have to work hard and keep working hard at a marriage, you always have to be honest with each other and above all else, a sense of humour is essential.”

Celebrations included a dinner with their sons and a larger family get-together is also planned.

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