A COUPLE who met at a dance shortly after the end of the Second World War have celebrated 60-years of marriage.

Joe and Irene Hankey, of Shildon, met at the War Memorial Institute, in Witton Park, in 1946.

The couple, of Byerley Road, Shildon, marked their diamond wedding anniversary today. (Thursday, August 14)

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Mrs Hankey, 82, said: “He must have seen me dancing and a friend told me that Joe wanted to take me home.

“Then we went to the Hippodrome, in Bishop Auckland, to see the film Love on the Dole.

“The secret to a happy marriage is lots of give and take. We’ve argued over the years but you always sort it out somehow.”

Mr Hankey, 85, worked as a maintenance engineer at Etherley Dene Colliery and Wilson’s Foundry, near Bishop Auckland, plus Shildon Drift Mine.

His wife was at the St Helen Clothing Factory and she made ammunition boxes Newton Aycliffe.

They married in 1954 at St Paul’s Church, Witton Park, and honeymooned in Blackpool. They have a son Colin and daughter Christine plus five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

They are top have a family meal to mark the anniversary.