Two residents of Yate, who have lived in the area for over 50 years have recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
Valerie and Mel Jones, ‘79 and 82-years-young’, were married on December 27 in 1958 at a registry office in Bridgend, Wales.
“I was about to go abroad with the navy,” Mel recalls when asked about the special day.
“We had thought about it and had been together for nine months so we thought, we had better get married then.”
The pair had first got together at a Valentine’s Day dance in London Derry in Northern Ireland.
Mel travelled the world with the navy for nine years and then the pair ended up in Windermere in Cumbria.
In 1968, Mel transferred to Filton to work on the electronics for the Concorde airplane on a three-month contract.
“It was a little strange moving down here initially,” Valerie said.
“Especially when on the second night we had the fire brigade knock on the door at around 2.00am in the morning telling us our house was about to be flooded.”
The River Frome that runs through Yate had burst it’s banks and flooded hundreds of houses across the area.
“Fortunately because we had just moved in we didn’t have a lot of furniture to move upstairs!”
Mel worked as an electrician for a number of companies in the area, right up until 1990 when he took voluntary redundancy.
He then took on a job with the Avon County Council, now South Gloucestershire, working on street lighting.
Now though, both are retired and enjoy life in their home close to their daughters Angela, Julia and Kathy.
“We have seen this area grow and grow, it’s almost unrecognisable from when we came but we are close to family,” Mel said.
“We have similar interests and although we argue sometimes we never hold grudges too long,” the duo said.
“We make each other laugh a lot as well, if you don’t have laughter then you are in real trouble.”
The pair celebrated their anniversary with a family gathering at the Swan at Tytherington in late December.