'Best friends' celebrate 60 diamond years together
A DIAMOND couple from Harwood are celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss — and say they are still the best of friends.
Frank and Lillian Punchaby met at a dance in 1949, and have been together ever since.
The couple had two daughters and now have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
They love nothing better than travelling and are looking forward to spending time with their family on their landmark anniversary date today.
Mrs Punchaby said: “I moved from Kent to Harwood when I was three years old and my husband lived in Astley Bridge.
“We met at the Palais de Dance, which was the ballroom in Bolton.
“I introduced myself to him because I had recognised him from a birthday party a couple of weeks earlier. We hit it off straight away.
“We started courting when I was 17, and because we didn’t have a lot of money back then, we would go to the cinema or go dancing.”
The NHS office worker was only parted from Mr Punchaby when he was called up to serve in the RAF as an air traffic controller.
Mrs Punchaby said: “It was really hard not to see him for two years during that time, so when he came back we got engaged and in 1953 got married in St Matthew’s Church.”
She added: “Being social is the key to a good marriage. We’re still the best of friends today.
“We have always loved to travel and have been all over the world together.
“Our first holiday abroad was to Belgium in 1954 and since then we have been to the Far East, Thailand and parts of Europe.
“We will be celebrating with family in St Annes and we’re really looking forward to it.”
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