A couple celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary in Bracknell has shared the secret to a long marriage.

Love was in the air at Bickerton House, in Warfield Road, where John Bennett, 86, and his wife Sue, 84, toasted their milestone with a cruise themed party.

The pair married in a church in Swindon with 60 friends and family members in attendance on the  October 28, 1961.

Novelist Jon said: “Our secret to a happy and long marriage is being tolerant of the other’s behaviour.”

Sue added: “You will always know when you meet the right person. You should work at staying in love by doing interesting things together.”

It was love at first sight when John and Sue met at a dance in Swindon.

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Sue had previously noticed John and “had her eye on him” and 10 days after their first dance, a colleague of John’s remarked: “You are seeing a lot of that girl.”

 John replied: “Yes I am going to marry her.”

The couple started married life in Swindon and, with John’s working in the RAF, have lived in Nottingham, Winchester, Reading and Malta in the early years of their marriage.

They eventually settled in Pangbourne and John was appointed the world’s first Professor of Quantity Surveying by Reading University.

He also wrote three novels and is currently considering writing a fourth based on life in a care home.

Sue and John had two children together and five grandchildren.

To celebrate their life together, the Care UK retirement home decorated the lounge to re-create a cruise including palm trees, balloons and a silver service set table.

The couple donned their best clothes and were treated to a three-course meal prepared by the head chef.

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Erika Smith, Home Manager at Bickerton House, said: “We regularly celebrate big anniversaries and understand the importance of maintaining relationships and acknowledging life’s milestones.

“We were honoured to be a part of such a special moment for John and Sue. They are truly inseparable, and we can all learn a thing or two from their long-lasting marriage.   

“Marking such a special occasion at the home allowed many of the residents to reminisce and share fond memories of their own wedding days, which was lovely to hear. Happy anniversary, John and Sue.”

Bickerton House provides full-time residential, nursing and specialist dementia care and features a bar and café, cinema, hair salon, activities room and garden.