TWO childhood sweethearts have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a letter from the Queen.

Doreen and Stan Cook, of Bowbrook Cottages, Peopleton, met when she moved to the village aged just 15.

And she could never have imagined when they played together as children that 60 years later they would be celebrating a long and happy marriage.

“I moved with my family to Peopleton, aged 15,” said the 84- year-old, who is originally from Bourtonon- the-Water. “Stan was born here, christened here and married here.

“We knew each other because it was only a small village then. We used to play together when we young. We used to go to the pictures and go for walks and Saturday night dances.”

The couple married when Mrs Cook was 23 at St Nicholas Church in Peopleton on December 12. But there was no big romantic proposal.

Mrs Cook said: “I don’t think he ever proposed to me, we just agreed to get married on that date.

It was such an old fashioned time, it’s a long time ago.”

During their marriage Mrs Cook worked as a despatch supervisor and Mr Cook, aged 82, worked on the land, later driving a digger at the same factory his wife worked at.

The couple then retired and remained in their home at Bowbrook Cottages, where they have lived since they married.

To celebrate their milestone anniversary they enjoyed a cake and raised a glass together at home and plan to go out with friends and family later this month.

“We also had a letter from the Queen,” said Mrs Cook.

“It said, ‘I am so pleased to know that we are celebrating your diamond wedding anniversary. I send my congratulations to you and best wishes on such a special occasion’.”

After 60 years the couple are still going strong and Mrs Cook says the secret of their success is letting things go and being able to move on after an argument.

“We have had our ups and downs but I can have words and forget it,” she said. “Everybody tells me what a nice man he is and I say that’s why I have got him.”