A FORMER Lord Mayor of York and his wife celebrate reaching their Diamond Wedding anniversary today.

Councillor John Galvin, who has served on City of York Council for 18 years, is celebrating reaching the 60-year milestone with his wife, Valmai, at their home in Bishopthorpe during the national lockdown.

The couple were married in Betws-y-Coed in North Wales in 1961.

They met in the area, where John attended a forestry school and worked in a hotel, where he knew and worked alongside Valmai's mother.

Valmai worked as a telephonist in the area at the time.

They moved to York in the 1990s and have lived in the area ever since.

They have two daughters together, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

They plan to hold a celebration with their family once the Government ease the restrictions set in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

They are also expecting to receive a card from the Queen, congratulating the pair on reaching the Diamond milestone.

John became the Lord Mayor of York in 2009 and was in the position until the following year. His wife took on the role of Lord Mayoress.

John also formerly chaired the Council's area planning committee and is now the Independent Councillor for Bishopthorpe.

John is well known around the York area for his interest outside of local politics, his huge collection of cacti, which he has often displayed at various shows in the local area.

He has been known to keep up to 500 of the plants in his greenhouse, describing them as "very interesting and quite forgiving," in the past.