AN ANDOVER couple are celebrating 60 years of marriage this week – but they say it “doesn’t seem five years” since they day they first met.

David and Beryl Laurillard, of Valencia Way, tied the knot on September 12, 1959, and will mark their diamond wedding anniversary tomorrow (Thursday) with one of their favourite pastimes – a trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

The pair point to their common interests as one of the reasons for their successful marriage, and it was one of their shared hobbies that led to their chance meeting at a dancehall in 1955.

David said: “I used to go regularly with our youth club and Beryl used to come along occasionally.

“I used to dance with the girls from the youth club. I didn’t really look anywhere else!” He quipped.

Beryl remembers that the day the two met she was supposed to be elsewhere, but instead changed her plans and went along to the dance where she met David.

“We always said it was fate,” she added.

One year later the pair got engaged, on Beryl’s 18th birthday, but the call of duty meant the couple would have to wait for their big day.

“The day after we get engaged,” said David, “I went out to Aden, which was a colony, of course it’s called South Yemen now. And that was for two years.”

Travel has always been a big part of their life together. The couple have visited each of the seven continents, including a trip to Antarctica where they sailed between icebergs and had to call on an icebreaker ship to help them navigate the waters.

Back at home, David and Beryl have lived in the same Andover house since 1966.

During that time, Beryl spent 32 years as a science technician at John Hanson school, while David worked at Boscombe Down as a civil servant and on Bristow helicopters at Middle Wallop after leaving the RAF.

Today their family all live locally, including their two children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren who keep the couple busy.

They add that they are also lucky to have good friends close by, and say luck is another factor behind their marriage’s longevity.

But perhaps the biggest key of all is being understanding.

“I think consideration for each other is a big thing,” said Beryl.

“Compromise doesn’t sound like the right word, but if we disagree we do look for a compromise.”

David says the pair “never go to sleep on an argument,” to which Beryl replied: “Not that we have many!”

“Well, in 60 years we’ve had to have one or two,” said David, “but nothing we haven’t been able to resolve very quickly. And as we say we never go to bed on an argument.”

“And I think, as well, we still enjoy each other’s company,” added Beryl.

“We’re still great friends, aren’t we?” said David.