The Mayor and Mayoress of Eastbourne have celebrated their golden wedding aniversary.
Councillor Mike Thompson, 71, and his wife Linda, 70, met at a party in the early 1960s, and found themselves engaged after only one year.
They were married in Loughton, Essex, on the 16th March 16 1963, in the same church Linda’s mother was married in.
She said, “It’s nice to keep it as a tradition.
“We’ve had other family members get married there since then.”
Mike and Linda have three children, but also two grandchildren and two surrogate grandchildren.
She said, “It can get hectic at Christmas, but when you come into this family, you’ve got to be able to take a joke.
“We make time as often as possible to dine together as a family - and we laugh and joke the whole time.”
The couple have spent the last year as mayor and mayoress and have enjoyed visiting the many events in the town.
Linda said, “We’re a team, we’re best friends.
“You have to be a partnership that completely trusts each other.
“I never keep secrets. The only one I ever kept was Mike’s surprise 60th birthday party, and it was the most difficult thing.
“But at the same time, we keep our independence. I would never ask him ‘What time do you call this?’. It’s not in the nature of who we are.”
Linda said the secret to a happy marriage is not keeping secrets and she is delighted she and Mike have enjoyed 50 years of happiness together.
She said, “If you stay married for this long, you’re lucky.
“People change as they get older, and you’ve got to hope you change in a way that works together.”
Mike and Linda celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a small party with close family and friends.