Calderdale lovebirds are Diamonds forever after celebrating 60th anniversary

Bill Collier and Valerie at their wedding on March 12 1960
Bill Collier and Valerie at their wedding on March 12 1960

Today marks the momentous milestone for two Todmorden lovebirds as they celebrate 60 years as a married couple.

Bill Collier, 83, and his wife Valerie, 78, are celebrating their Diamond anniversary after first locking eyes under the spotlight of the Old Co-op Hall many moons ago.

Bill Collier, 83, with wife Valerie, 78

Bill Collier, 83, with wife Valerie, 78

The year was 1958, Valerie was 16 years old working as a core winder, while her husband, who was 21 at the time, had returned for the Royal Air Force’s base in Cyprus.

Valerie said: “He was tanned, handsome, and blonde - what’s not to like?

“Two years later we were married, it was a lot simpler back then.”

After the couple tied the knot they would go on to have four children together, including two boys and two girls, and 10 grandchildren.

The pair have been happily married for 60 years

The pair have been happily married for 60 years

Sadly though Bill and Valery have suffered heartache during their marriage story.

“We lost our son Duncan in 1989 after he was found in Callis Bridge lock,” said Valerie.

“He was only 29 years old and six months after losing him, we lost one of our grandchildren, who was suffering with cerebral palsy.

“It’s been hanging over us for 30 years, but the love we have along with our strong family has been enough to get us through the tough times.”

Both Bill and Valerie are originally from Todmorden

Both Bill and Valerie are originally from Todmorden

But it is not all about loving each other, according to Valery the secret to a long-lasting relationship is something all the more important.

“It’s compromise, you cannot have it all your own way - it’s about the give and take,” she said.

“You have to communicate and tell each other when you’re feeling down about something.”

Bill said: “I couldn’t have been without her.

“My advice to anyone struggling in their relationship is to talk to your partner - you'd be surprised with the outcome.

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”