A DIAMOND couple, who live at Farnborough's Knellwood old folks' home, have just celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Staff at the home laid on a surprise party for Len and Mary Walker, who married in Aldershot on 24 December, 1942.

Among the 50 guests was Mary's elder brother, Wally, who also lives at Knellwood. The couple cut a diamond wedding cake and a telegram of congratulations from the Queen was read out.

Len, 91, told the partygoers he couldn't believe he and Mary, 87, had been married for 60 years. "The time has flown by," he said.

They met when Len, born in Stoke-on-Trent, lodged with Mary's parents in Aldershot. "It wasn't love at first sight," she said. But romance soon blossomed and they tied the knot at the town's registry office.

Len was born in Stoke-on-Trent and started work underground in the coal mines at the age of 14.

To get away from mining, he joined the army and spent the second world war as a private in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.

After his demob he worked at Farnborough's Royal Aircraft Establishment until retiring at 60.

Mary was born and grew up in Aldershot and worked in domestic service.

The couple, who have no children, have lived at Knellwood for the past 14 months.