A COUPLE who danced together during their first date are still partners more than six decades on.

When he was 14, Des Thirtle took his future wife, Elizabeth, to a dance night in their hometown of Amble, Northumberland.

Now aged 82 and 83, respectively, the couple are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary – and more than 60 years of dancing together.

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“I couldn’t dance and she could, and really that is where it all started off,” he said.

The couple got engaged in 1953 and married the following year.

They have six daughters - Sandra, Angela, Debra, Fiona, Lynda and Lisa – 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

For the past 36 years the pair have lived in Darlington, but their love of dancing has taken them around the world.

“We have danced in America, Cyprus, Spain, Tenerife - everywhere,” said Mr Thirtle.

“We just love dancing. It is good exercise and gives you a chance to get dressed up."

The couple marked their anniversary yesterday (Thursday, June 26) at Age UK Darlington’s weekly sequence dance group where they have been perfecting their moves for around 20 years.

They were presented with bouquets of flowers and will celebrate with friends and family tomorrow evening (Saturday, June 28).