MUSIC really was the food of love for a couple who have just celebrated their diamond wedding.

For Tom and Freda Raine of Craghead, near Stanley, first saw each other while Tom played in a Salvation Army band more than 60 years ago.

Mrs Raine, 79, said that her husband, who worked down the mines most of his life, had come from his native Sherburn Hill village, to a Salvation Army meeting at Newfield, near Pelton. The couple still attend Salvation Army meetings at Chester-le-Street.

And the secret to long-lasting marriage? Mrs Raine said: "It's about love and pulling together but also about give and take. You have to realise everyone's a separate individual."

The couple's three children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren held a special meal to mark the big day.

Deputy mayor of Durham City George Cowper and chairman of Derwentside District Council Oswald Johnson also attended a celebratory open day at the couple's house.