A DEVOTED couple have put their 60 happy years of marriage down to give and take.
Stephen and Ethel Upton, of Beechy Avenue, tied the knot on September 15 1951 at a small church in Sayers Common in Hickstead after getting engaged the February.
Ethel, now 80, said, “I knew him for a long, long time but I didn’t like him and I used to hide from him.”
However, when Stephen returned home from army service in Singapore and Hong Kong Ethel felt differently.
The couple both worked in farming. Stephen was a milkman before becoming a shepherd and Ethel was in the Land Army.
Stephen and Ethel had four children – Fred, Susan, Debbie and Joe – and are now grandparents to six and great-grandparents to five.
The couple have lived in Eastbourne for more than 50 years and have been involved in the Eastbourne Ringcraft Classes, Eastbourne District Show Classes and Ethel was a former member of the Hailsham Equestrian Club.
They also bred Shetland Sheep Dogs for many years, exporting the animals all over the world.
Ethel added, “It has been a hectic and busy life but it has been enjoyable.”
The couple are celebrated their milestone anniversary with friends and family in a marquee in their garden.
Family came from as far as Australia to celebrate the event.
When asked the secret to a happy marriage, Ethel said, “Give and take and never going to bed on a quarrel.”