A COUPLE from near Malpas believe working together and a mutual attraction has been the key to their reaching 60 years of marriage.

Bill and Doreen Coffin, who live in Cuddington, celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary last week with friends and their only daughter Zena Swansbury.

They got married on November 22, 1958 at the iconic St Alkmund’s Church in Whitchurch, as Doreen – then Doreen Zena Gibbons – was from the town, while Bill was from Malpas.

Doreen is a retired shop worker, having worked in a haberdashery shop in Green End until she retired, while Bill was a bricklayer until ill-health forced his retirement at the age of 60, 20 years ago.

The six decades of love, marriage and friendship were built on one solid foundation for Bill – mutual attraction.

Talking to the Whitchurch Herald, Bill said: “I’ve lived in Malpas all my life but Doreen lived in Whitchurch and that’s why we got married there.

“I saw Doreen and I was just attracted to her straight away,” recalled Bill.

“I took her to the cinema on our first date; I think it was called the ‘Regal’ and it used to be off the High Street, in Mill Street.

“I was just attracted and then we found out that we had plenty of things in common and loads of similar interests.

“I don’t know if there’s any secret to being married for 60 years, as such.

“I just suppose that it’s about you trying to work and discuss things together.

“It’s good to agree on the right things to do in life.

“We still support and adore each other as much as we did then and I think she went out with me because she found me attractive too.

“I think it was just meant to be for us both.

“I think here’s to another 60 years!”

Bill is also a published author when in 2001, he wrote a memoir of his time growing up in the village of Malpas.

He wrote a book called ‘Back in Five Minutes – Childhood and Teenage Memories of Malpas’ in the 1940s and 1950s which was published by the Whitchurch Herald and sold 1,000 copies in two weeks.

The pair, who are both 80 years old, were married when they were 20.