A COUPLE from Kidderminster will be celebrating 50 years of marriage today.

Hilary and John Desmond, both 71, tied the knot in Abertillery in South Wales at noon on July 25, 1964 and will mark their golden wedding anniversary by going on a holiday to Paris with their family.

They have two children, Lucy, and Nathan, and four grandchildren Carys, 8, Grace, 5, Sophia, 2 and one-year-old Faith.

They first met on July 4, 1960, while working in the same office in Cardiff, when they were both aged 17.

After moving from Cardiff to Kidderminster in 1983, Mr Desmond started his own business, Protective Surface Coatings, dealing with industrial and commercial flooring, which he still runs today.

To celebrate their anniversary, Mr and Mrs Desmond are being treated to a holiday in Paris, joined by their children and spouses where, the couple said, they would be in for a few surprises.

Mr Desmond said: “The children have told us that they’ve got something planned for when we’re in Paris but they haven’t said what yet.”

The couple’s daughter, Lucy Carmody, said her parents were both young at heart. “They’re lovely people and not your average 71-year-olds,” she explained. “Dad still runs his own business, which shows how hardworking he is.

“They’ve had their ups and downs but have never given up. They work well together and always give each other support.”

Mr Desmond gave words of advice to fellow couples on the secrets of their long, successful marriage.

“One of the main ingredients is just to get on,” he said.

“We’ve been together since we were 17 and we’ve grown up together but it’s been like a boat ride.

“Sometimes there’s stormy weather but you’ve got to ride through it and you’ll get to the calmer weather on the other side.”