A west Suffolk couple who ran a village shop next door to the church where they married have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Sylvia and Brian Hardy married on May 4 1957 at Fornham All Saints Church, and they have been central to village life.
They say ‘give and take, respecting the fact you are not always going to agree and keeping active’ has helped maintain their ‘strong and loving’ relationship.
Mr Hardy, 82, was born and raised in Whepstead and Mrs Hardy, 83, moved to Bury St Edmunds aged four.
They met in 1956 at Challacombe and Mayo Dental Practice, on Angel Hill, in Bury, where he worked as a dental technician and she as a receptionist.
Their sons Stephen and David were born in 1959 and 1965 respectively.
In 1968 they bought the village shop and premises in Fornham All Saints next door to the church where they married.
They added a post office to the shop where they both continued to work until retirement in 1998.
Mr Hardy served on the Fornham All Saints parish council for nine years and as chairman for six years.
Mrs Hardy was and remains on the rota for flower arranging at the church.
They were the founder members of Fornham All Saints carpet bowls club in 1985.
The pair moved to Fornham St Martin in 2009 and Mrs Hardy belongs to the Fornham St Martin Wives Group where she is involved in fund-raising for the community.
Their family includes two daughters-in-law, three grandsons, two granddaughters, a granddaughter-in-law, a great grandson and four step great grandchildren.
They say having a close relationship with their extended family and being proud of their grandchildren’s achievements has ‘only added to their happiness’.
A celebration was held for 50 family and friends at Bury Golf Club on April 29.