DIAMOND duo Derek and Jean Lawrence are today celebrating 60 years of married life.

In all those years 81 year-old ex-miner Derek and Jean, 80, haven't strayed far from the place where they tied the knot.

Their Charleston Court home is 50 yards from the site of Tyldesley Methodist Church where they married on September 20, 1952.

"I was born 'deyn t'bonk' in St George's pit yard at the bottom of Lemon Street - there were houses there then," said the man who worked in the spinning room at Caleb Wright's mill in Tyldesley then became a coal face worker at Chanters (Hindsford), Nook (Astley) and Agecroft collieries.

Jean (nee Pendlebury) was born in Lime Street, Tyldesley and their home overlooks the former Tyldesley's Girls School building where she was a pupil.

"I only asked him what time it was and here we are 60 years later. Not many last that long. My mother would be so proud," said Mrs Lawrence.

A weaver at Parr Bridge when they married, she later had a variety of cleaning jobs and recalls her time at Astley Hospital particularly well.

"I was cleaning under a bed and talking to the patient in it when somebody said 'there's no point talking to Jack - he's been dead for half an hour!', recalled Mrs Lawrence.

"I ran out and never went back."

The Lawrences have two sons, Graham and David, grandsons Karl and Leon and grand-daughter Keeley and eight great-grandchildren.

The couple will celebrate their anniversary with a family gathering at The Edge in Tyldesley.