Saying I love you the secret of our long marriage, say diamond couple

A couple will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on Christsmas Eve – and revealed their secret of a happy marriage – simply saying ‘I love you’.

James and Ann Cunningham of Great Chishill met as teenagers in Kilmarnock during the 1940s at a whist drive at which James played the bagpipes.

Ann said: “We weren’t people who went out dancing a lot. We were more the type to go out walking and shopping.

“After four years of courting, as we called it then, we were married in 1951.”

The couple married on Christmas Eve in a church filled with Christmas trees while snow fell.

After a spell in Greece and Mexico because of James’ engineering career, they moved to Great Chishill 21 years ago and have two children and seven grandchildren.

James retired at 59 after many years as an engineer saying “he has been happy ever since”.

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To celebrate their marital milestone the couple will head to a residential home for respite – as James cares for his 80-year-old wife.

The couple’s feelings remain as strong as when they first met all those years ago.

Ann said: “We were very much in love and we still are. There’s never a day passes that we don’t say we love each other – I think that’s important.”

A point 81-year-old James echoes: “The secret is romance, I suppose I would call it devotion.”