A COUPLE well known for running shops in York are marking their diamond wedding anniversary.

Alf Vass, 83, most recently of Wheldrake Pine and Cane and former owner of Timba, Pinewood and Woodcarvers city centre shops, was often helped at work by his wife Myra, 80.

The couple will be joined by friends and family this weekend for a celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary at Amelia House Care Home in Rawcliffe.

Explaining the secret to their lengthy marriage, Mr Vass said: "I'm extroverted and my wife is introverted, it's a good match.

"She has always supported me in everything.

"We have fitted together well and I can honestly say we have never had a real argument in our life."

Hours after meeting his wife in 1951, when Mr Vass was asked to show her around RAF Church Fenton while on national service, Mr Vass was convinced has met the woman he was going to marry.

After dancing with her later that day, he remembers: "I went back to the mess that night and I told my friend 'I have just met my future wife'. I don't know why I said it but I just felt it."

The couple tied the knot on April 3, 1954, at Wistow Church, later honeymooning in Bridlington. They went on to have three children Christopher, 57, Nicholas, 53, and Andrew, 52, and now have 11 grandchildren.

Mrs Vass worked in the Shambles hairdressers Bob Cairns, and the couple opened a salon in Wistow before Mr Vass took a job in Teeside and then Glasgow.

After returning and setting up their three shops in York, they decided to consolidate in one shop in Wheldrake in 1981.

Recently Mrs Vass went to live in Amelia House due to ill health.

Mr Vass said: "I'm surprised we have got to 60 years of marriage, especially as my wife's health has not alway been good.

"The time has gone so quickly, I don't know where it's gone quite frankly. It seems like yesterday I went through those gates of the air force."