‘Give and take, and remember to laugh..’

Patrick and Jean Harbord with their family celebrating their Diamond Wedding January 15, 2015 SUS-150302-095711001

Patrick and Jean Harbord with their family celebrating their Diamond Wedding January 15, 2015 SUS-150302-095711001

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A couple who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary say the secret to a long and happy marriage is tolerance and a sense of humour.

Jean Webb and Patrick Harbord met at a bus stop in 1953. Jean was on her way home having just returned from her cousin’s wedding.

The pair were smitten and they married on January 15, 1955 at St Peter’s Church, Bexhill Old Town.

Patrick did his national service with the marines and trained as an apprentice master plasterer - completing a lot of the work on the exterior of the former Queens Hotel - at one time one of Hastings’ most prestigious hotels. Aged 25, Patrick joined Sussex Police and served for 25 years. He belongs to Sussex Beekeeping Association and was chairman for several years. Jean worked in the police station canteen as a cook while raising their two children Alan, now 58, and Shirley, 56.

Two grandchildren were to follow. Granddaughter Stacey is married to Andy and they have two daughters, Ellen, eight, and Elsie. Grandson Matthew’s wife Louise is due have Patrick and Jean’s third great-grandchild.

Matthew said his Grandad is a great community man, adding: “He is always up for fun and both he and my nan have lived in the same house off Bohemia Road all their married life. They have always grown all their own vegetables and been very involved with the allotment.”

Jean said sharing this interest always kept them together as it was something they did with the family. Of their 60 years together Jean said: “Our top tip for a long and happy marriage is to give and take - and remember to laugh.”