A COUPLE from Ludgershall whose relationship was mooted to fail in its early days, have silenced the doubters after they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

The whirlwind romance of Shirley and Gordon Brown started in a cafe in Tidworth where Shirley worked in 1952, where it was love at first sight.

The Browns, from Wood Park, were engaged just three weeks later on June 28, 1952, and on December 13, on Gordon’s 21st birthday, they were married at Devizes Registery Office.

Shirley, who was only 18 at the time of their marriage, said: “It was quick, we fell for each other straight away.”

“It was only my brother and us two who went to the wedding, so we had to get another witness.”

Not long out of doing his National Service, Gordon started work as a floor layer and continued along that career path, while Shirley has worked in places including the NAAFI and The Queens Head in Ludgershall.

Still active after retirement, the pair, at 78 and 81-years-old, still do a spot of cleaning work.

The couple have three children, eight grandchildren, 17 greatgrandchildren and one great-great grandchild, with another expected.

Their secret to reaching their diamond anniversary is talking and children.

“We have had our ups and downs, but we talk to each other, we discuss things a lot,” said Shirley.

“We also love our children and you make it up because of the children.”