SPARKLING celebrations are in order for Barbara and Charles Burgin today, as they celebrate 60 years of marriage.

The couple, of Royal Wootton Bassett, are marking their diamond wedding anniversary after tying the knot on February 7, 1953.

Barbara and Charles, now 81 and 83, are originally from London and tied the knot at Alperton Baptist Church, in Wembley.

Barbara said: “That was such a special year, with the Coronation in June, and so much happiness in the country. The war was over and everyone was looking forward. “My late sister was bridesmaid, in blue, and we had a weekend honeymoon in Herne Bay, where it snowed.”

Their first home was a ground floor flat. Later, they rented the upstairs rooms, too, before their move to Royal Wootton Bassett more than 50 years ago.

Charles was an educational welfare officer in Swindon until worsening deafness forced him into an early retirement.

He later worked as a wages clerk and a school caretaker.

Barbara, who had an office career, worked at Swindon College, where her job included typing exam papers.

Both are active members of the United Reformed Church, in Wood Street and Barbara became well known to generations of local children during her 30 years as Tawny Owl in the First Wootton Bassett Brownies.

Formerly keen caravanners, they now enjoy being at home in the company of their Jack Russell, Megan, now 13.

Barbara said: “She was a rescue dog; the fourth we’ve had, over the years.”

Their 60th anniversary celebrations this week will be shared by two nieces’ families and a brother-in-law, from London and the south coast.

Various health problems, including Barbara’s spinal fracture after falling on ice in 1979, make the couple grateful for the services provided by the NHS.

“We are so fortunate to have a good hospital nearby,” she said.

“We’ve had very contented lives and are very thankful to have got to our 60th anniversary. It’s wonderful.”