The sparks of romance which began at a fire station ball more than 60 years ago are still burning bright for Gordon and Audrey Long.
The happy couple celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in Skegness last week after six joyous decades together.
“I was an on duty fireman and my wife was at a dance in the fire station when I first set eyes on her,” said Gordon.
“We met again a week later and decided to go out and that was that - within six months we were married.”
After a whirlwind courtship in their hometown of Coventry the couple tied the knot at Westwood Church , when they were whisked away by an open top fire engine.
“The driver had set the bells going but Audrey thought it was me and kept nudging me with her elbow,” said Gordon.
They began married life together living with Audrey’s parents before starting a family of their own in a home provided by the fire service,
Gordon and Audrey went onto have three children together who gave them six grandchildren and later seven great-grandchildren.
After more than a decade as a firefighter, Gordon went on to work as a lorry driver and then with the ambulance service, before retiring to Skegness 22 years ago.
Audrey was involved with the Girl Guiding movement for half a century. And Gordon, who was a Skegness town councillor for 12 years, has also been a long-standing member of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.
He says their happiest memories together were during a holiday to Malta and their worst - an unfortunate encounter with insects during a woodland walk when they were first courting.
“My wife got bitten all over by I don’t know what - she was in a terrible state the next day,” said.
“He never did take me to the woods after that,” added Audrey.