By Catherine Reid
A set of twins who wed their sweethearts on the same day are celebrating their diamond anniversaries.
Twins Connie Stanfield and Mary Smith married their partners in a joint ceremony on March 23 1957 – and 60 years on, their love is still going strong.
Mary, 81, met husband Henry, 80, at a dance hall, while 81-year-old Connie met Desmond, 82, on a blind date.
The couples, who got married in Walsall, West Midlands, live a few doors down from each other and have seven sons between them.
They also have 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren who were all present at the anniversary celebrations – even though the couples broke tradition and had separate parties.
Henry and Mary – who have four boys Neil, 41, John, 46, Wayne, 51 and Patrick, 58 – had a party at the local pub, while Connie and Desmond – parents to Stephen, 59, Mark, 52, and Alan, 44 – hosted a gathering at their house.
Mary, who married at St John’s Church in Pleck, Walsall, said: “Because we’re twins we do everything together, but it’s unusual for twins to celebrate a diamond anniversary and both live in the same street all these years.
“Connie and I are really close and we’ve never had an argument.
“We still see each other seven days a week, and if I don’t pop round she’ll ring me up and ask me where I am!”
Connie added: “We wanted to get married on the same day because we’re twins.”
Henry, recalled the moment he set eyes on Mary across the dance floor when they were teenagers.
The smitten husband said: “I remember just looking over the dance floor and that was it.
“I was only 17 at the time.
“The wedding was fantastic and we filled the boozer afterwards.
“There were lots of people there from three different families – we had over 100 people there.”
Desmond met Connie on a blind date, set up by one of her work friends when the twins worked at Stafford and Son leather works in Walsall.
Mary then became a housewife, while Connie spent 30 years as a cleaner.
Their husbands served in the armed forces, with Henry also working at a gasworks.
Desmond, who had a spell as a miner too, said: “We had a big anniversary party ta the house.
“It was a great evening and a wonderful celebration, we loved it.”
The couples have also holidayed together over the years and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a joint party in 2007.
On her secret to a long and happy marriage, Mary added: “I don’t have any secrets, we’ve always got on.
“Sometimes you have a little bit of an argument but you get on with it and move on.
“Some days I could kill him, but that’s love isn’t it?”