Sharing is revealed as the secret of a devoted Handbridge couple who celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on July 28.

Derek and Thelma Mitchell met at a dance in Chester where trumpet player Derek was performing with a local band when they were just 17.

They married in 1956 at St Mark’s Church in Saltney and spent their honeymoon in the Isle of Man.

Fast forward 60 years and the pair, who are both 82, are proud parents to Graham, Christopher and Karen and have 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Derek and Thelma on their wedding day in 1956
Derek and Thelma on their wedding day in 1956

When asked what their secret to a long and happy marriage is, Derek – a former musical director of the City of Chester Brass Band – said: “It is difficult to point to one particular secret but the one thing that comes to mind is we always shared everything, and we are fortunate to have had the support of our wonderful children and to watch our grandchildren making a success of their lives.”

Derek and Thelma will celebrate their special day with a family lunch at The Mill Hotel before taking in Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

Chris has paid tribute to his parents for creating such a close-knit family.

“Mum and dad have always been there for all the family, nothing is ever too much trouble,” he said.

“Their secret to a happy marriage I think is that they look after each other and make each other laugh.

“The whole family feel immensely proud of them and are looking forward to celebrating.”