TOLERANCE and a sense of humour are the secrets to a happy marriage, according to a Longniddry couple who celebrated 60 years of marriage last Thursday.

John and Ellen Ellis, both 82, married in Aberdeen after meeting in England on the 7.07pm train from Sheffield to Hull.

They shared a carriage and engaged in conversation.

John, who lived in East Yorkshire at the time, told the Courier that, after the journey, he wrote Ellen a letter and sent it to the Sheffield Telegraph, where she worked in administration.

He said: “I remember looking all over for the place that she worked to give her the letter.

“We had just been speaking on the train; she was a bonnie lass and I remember just wanting to give her that letter.”

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Ellen received the letter and the couple married two years later, just outside Aberdeen, where Ellen stayed at the time. They moved to Longniddry in 1971 and have stayed there for 52 years.

The pair have two children, David and Iain, and three grandchildren, David, James and Peter. They also have four great grandchildren.

John spent most of his career working in human resources for BT, while Ellen worked in advertising for The Press & Journal. Ellen also helped produce a magazine for Longniddry Parish Church.

From 1974 to 1984, Ellen ran a school play group, admitting that she had wanted to become a teacher.

She said: “I had always wanted to teach but it didn’t work out. My kids were at the school and I was asked if I wanted to run a playgroup.

“It was really good. I still bump into some of the mums today whose children used to come along.”

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The couple enjoy similar hobbies, including gardening at their home on Neidpath Court, and previously enjoyed playing golf.

The couple enjoyed a celebration with their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and extended family at The Open Arms, Dirleton.

Asked what the the secret was to a long marriage, John said: “Tolerance and a sense of humour.

“We have managed to keep that going all our lives and that is very important.”

Ellen added: “I think a bit of patience as well is important.

“We are patient with each other always.”