“DIAMONDS are forever and so is our love”, those are the words of childhood sweethearts Jean and Alf Bowker who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today, Thursday, September 17.

After meeting aged 15 on April 8 1955 on Rivington Pike, Jean and Alf have been inseparable ever since after “falling in love on first sight”.

Five years later, on September 17, 1960, the loved up duo wed at St Paul’s Church in Leigh when they were both aged 20.

The grandparents-of-three, who have one daughter, Beverley, have lived in Leigh all of their lives, with Alf working in J&J Hayes in Victoria Mill and Jean also worked in the sewing industry.

Talking to the Journal about their lives together, Jean, 80, said: “Diamonds are forever and so is our love.

“We both support Leigh and also Manchester United, but we love each other so much more.

“We honestly give thanks to our incredible family and to our NHS for us being together, because a few years ago Alf nearly died after an aneurysm. They have kept us together by bringing him back to me twice and he was in for 66 days in a bad way.

“So to spend this special year together is wonderful, even in the current situation.”

Alf, also 80, added: “We think love makes up everything.

“We have had fall outs like every couple, but the key is to make up again straight away or we’ve had it, and we’ve always kept to that.

“I’ve loved Jean since I was 15 years old and I love her even more now.

“We’ve had a lovely life together and are very happy to celebrate this anniversary together.”

The couple had planned to have a big celebration for their big day with family and friends, but due to the coronavirus restrictions currently put in place, they will instead be celebrating at home with their daughter.

Jean said: “We are very fortunate to have wonderful memories. We’ve been on lovely holidays and have a lovely family so we are more than happy to stay at home and reminisce on our 65 years together, and our 60 years of marriage.

“It’s more important that we are all keeping safe during all of this, so we can get to the 70th wedding anniversary in one piece.”

n Do you have a big wedding anniversary coming up?

If so please get in touch with us and your love story could also feature in a future edition of the Leigh Journal.

To get in touch email newsdesk@leighjournal.co.uk or via our Facebook page.