AFTER 60 years of marriage a Bicester couple say they are still very happy together.

Ruth and Ronald Palmer tied the knot on June 26, 1954 at a small ceremony in Launton Village Church with friends and family.

The couple had met four years earlier at a dance in the village hall when Ron was 20 and Ruth 16.

Mrs Palmer, now 80, said: “I thought ‘Ooh, he is a nice looking chap’.”

The couple were then forced to live apart for four years while Mr Palmer relocated to Germany with the Royal Horse Guards.

On his return to Bicester he joined the fire service as a volunteer, where he worked for the next 35 years, rising to the rank of station chief.

The 84-year-old said: “We used to have a bell over the bed which would go off in the night. When it did we would throw off the bed clothes, and Ruth would run downstairs and turn on all the lights.

“She would then hold my coat at the bottom of the stairs, which I would grab while running out the door.

“I used to put my special clothes on over my pyjamas — I reckon I could do it in a minute.”

Mr Palmer worked full-time for Oxfordshire County Council for 47 years, and Ruth was a sales assistant in shops in the town centre.

The couple, who did not have children, travelled the world together, visiting America, Canada and the Mediterranean on annual trips abroad.

Today they spend time gardening at the Loddon Close home where they have lived since 1962.