A COUPLE who met at a village dance are still in step with each other after 60 years of marriage.

Gordon and Maureen Howe, from Aycliffe Village, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary yesterday and were overjoyed to get a card from the Queen marking their special day.

The couple met at a church hall dance in Evenwood and married at the Methodist chapel in High Lands near Cockfield.

Mr Howe worked in the family-run garage at Bishop Auckland and Mrs Howe was a hairdressers' receptionist in Evenwood.

They started their married life in Bishop Auckland and had two children, Nicola and Stuart, before moving to Sedgefield. In the late 1960s they moved to Newton Aycliffe and lived there until a few years ago when they settled in a bungalow in Aycliffe Village.

They have both enjoyed a very active social life since retiring, Mr Howe is actively involved in the Rotary Club and Mrs Howe is a keen member of the WI, supports local charities and helps at fundraising events.

The celebrations began with Stuart and his family and will continue when they visit Nicola and her family in Barcelona next month.