A COUPLE who celebrate 60 years of marriage this month are planning to mark the occasion by returning to the venue that hosted their reception.

Pat and Tom Ellwood, of Startforth, near Barnard Castle, were married at Rokeby Church, followed by a reception at the Morritt Arms Hotel, Greta Bridge.

They plan to mark their diamond wedding anniversary with afternoon tea at The Morritt, accompanied by close family and friends.

Mr Ellwood, 88 and his wife, 85, have known each other since childhood, when he worked on his father's farm at Egglestone Abbey and Mrs Ellwood's family lived close by.

After they were married, Mr Ellwood set up a poultry business followed, in 1978, by a wholesale poultry and frozen food factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

As well as helping out with the poultry business, Mrs Ellwood established a tack shop in Barnard Castle in the late 1970s.

The couple have four children and seven grandchildren. As well as keeping limousin cattle, their other passion over the years has been race horses.

As keen owners of chasers, Mr and Mrs Ellwood's biggest win came in the Durham national at Sedgefield, when their horse Chosen Slave came in first. Mr Muddy Paws – who ironically hated the mud – was another of their successful chasers.

Mrs Ellwood said after having a big celebration to mark their golden jubilee, their diamond anniversary would pass off in a relatively low key fashion.