A COUPLE who have celebrated 50 years of marriage have thanked family and friends for helping them to raise money for charity.

Harry and Connie Wilkinson, from Billy Row, near Crook, asked for donations to be made to The Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland in lieu of anniversary gifts.

The couple celebrated their anniversary on December 27 by holding an open house party.

Mrs Wilkinson said: "We are surprised at how many people came along. It was a lovely day.

"We never expected to raise as much money as we have and we would like to thank everyone."

The couple, who were married at Wooley Terrace Methodist Church, Stanley Crook, collected £300 for the Butterwick Hospice.