ROMANCE blossomed for next door neighbours Tony and Margaret Gaffney who have celebrated their diamond wedding.
The Millbrook couple, raised as children on Shakespeare Avenue, never ventured far as they live round the corner on Besom Lane that has been home for more than 50 years.
“We have always lived in Millbrook apart from a little spell in Heyrod after we were married,” explained Margaret.
Tony, 82, and Margaret, 78, were married at St Peter’s RC Church, Stalybridge, on March 22, 1958.
And they celebrated their landmark anniversary recently with a party for 100 family and friends at The Royal George, Mossley.
They included daughter Beverley and son-in-law Kevin, sister Barbara and brother-in-law Jack who travelled from Murcia, Spain.
There was also a special postal delivery – a congratulatory card from the Queen.
Tony and Margaret were childhood playmates from the age of six, but began courting aged 15, recalling how they went to Saturday afternoon matinees in Dukinfield.
In those days, they began working aged 15 with Tony working for Mossley Town Council’s highways department as well as having a spell on the dustbins.
Margaret was employed as a ring spinner at Woodend Mill. Later she worked at Droylsden business Elcometer.
The couple say keeping busy is the key to remaining active as their family includes four children, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They visit their daughter and her family in Spain four times a year.
“I go to the gym three days a week, Slimming World on a Wednesday so that only leaves Friday for shopping,” joked Margaret.
Margaret likes jigsaw puzzles while handyman Tony has his man cave at the bottom of the garden where he enjoys model making.
He also takes their Yorkshire Terrier Ozzie for walks, often to Dovestone Reservoir in Greenfield.
As for the recipe for a happy marriage, Margaret said: “We have always got on well together and been good friends.
“Tony makes me breakfast every day and I do tea while he is the dishwasher. We share the jobs.”