TOLERANCE is the key to a long and happy marriage, according to a Darlington couple who celebrate their 60th anniversary today (Thursday, March 27).

Percy and Lilian Abbott were married at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Thornley, near Durham, in 1954.

Mr Abbott is a long-serving member of Rockliffe Cricket Club – the club recently named its new pavilion after him and fellow stalwart Tony Gent.

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The couple have three daughters – Barbara, Gillian and Jacqueline, as well as three grandchildren.

Mr Abbott said: “We have always been very family-orientated – our daughters and grandchildren are very much at the centre of mine and my wife’s thinking.

“When we were younger, we enjoyed dancing, particularly at the cricket club dances.

“We both enjoyed going and still do.

“The key to 60 years of marriage is tolerance – particularly in my wife’s case.”

Mr Abbott is a retired accountant and Mrs Abbott used to work in a fashion boutique in Darlington.

Mr Abbott added: “She has always been fashion-conscious and is still a smart cookie.”

The couple are planning a family celebration to celebrate the occasion.