A COUPLE from York who have raised thousands of pounds for charity are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today.

Lawrence and Mabel King will toast the milestone today but have had to postpone their celebrations at the Wigginton Recreational Hall which they'd booked for this Sunday, before realising the Grand Depart and road closures could cause problems for their 60 guests.

The couple, of Turnberry Drive, Acomb, who have run dance classes and organised dance events for more than 30 years, met when Mabel worked as a shop assistant, and Lawrence, now 86, worked in haulage.

Mabel, 83, said: "We met over a shop counter. I was working there and he called in for cigarettes. It was on the corner of Lindley Street.

"He said he wanted to take me to the pictures. I lived in Poppleton and went home, got ready and went to the Regent Cinema, and he bought me a box of Poppets. I stood up and they all rolled all the way down the theatre!"

The couple, who were married at Upper Poppleton Church 60 years ago today, have a son, Martin, and daughter-in-law Pam, who live in Stamford Bridge, and two grandchildren, Daniel, 27, and 20-year-old Harriet.

The couple taught old-style and modern sequence dancing until about 2003, and said by remaining active, they have lived a happy life together.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the couple held a dance at Shipton by Beningbrough, and donated money raised there to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, one of several charities they still support.

Mabel said: "We keep fit by dancing which we have done for nearly 40 years. We're still fit and healthy and we do everything together - socialising, that's our secret. We have shared interests and look after each other. We go everywhere together. The only thing Lawrence doesn't like to do is going shopping!"

"Thanks to the dancers because without their support we wouldn't have been able to raise this sort of money. We've raised £5,000 over the last few years for the Air Ambulance. There are too many charities to mention and we always try to help. The dancing events and raffles raise money and without their support we wouldn't be able to do it."