Dunmow couple celebrate Diamond wedding anniversary

PUBLISHED: 11:47 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:31 30 May 2010

John and Pat Layton celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Boxing Day Picture: SUBMITTED

John and Pat Layton celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Boxing Day Picture: SUBMITTED

THE secret to a successful marriage is love, respect, trust and most importantly a sense of humour, a Dunmow couple has revealed following their diamond wedding anniversary. John and Pat Layton, aged 81 and 79, have been together for over 60 years, but

THE secret to a successful marriage is "love, respect, trust and most importantly a sense of humour," a Dunmow couple has revealed following their diamond wedding anniversary.

John and Pat Layton, aged 81 and 79, have been together for over 60 years, but have known each other since school days.

"Some friends and I went for a walk on Hampstead Heath, and she was there," said John. "We went to a few dances, but it was purely plutonic."

It was not until just before John was conscripted into the Army in 1946 that they started dating; they were separated for two years, but writing letters kept them going and in 1947 they were engaged.

John said: "After basic training, while I was still stationed in England I would hitchhike back home most weekends to go dancing with Pat"

They were married on Boxing Day 1949 in Trinity Presbyterian Church, Hampstead, continuing to do as much together as they could. "Togetherness is like a glue, so we share most things, going for walks, visiting places, we do it together," John said.

"While I'm retired, you can't retire from being a housewife. But I pitch in, doing the vacuuming while Pat does the dusting."

Following the end of his conscription, John worked in his local post office for 39 years, spending his time with his wife going for walks, enjoying each others company and living by the bible standards of marriage.

Their family, now in its third generation consists of two children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. "We are a close family, on Boxing Day we all met; it was such a special day," said John.

"For the new year and new decade we plan to keep going, keep healthy and keep plodding on. After all if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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