A COUPLE who say the secret to a long marriage is ‘tolerance’ celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

Walter and Joan Brookes were married on June 24, 1950 at Darfield Church and spent a week in Dublin, Ireland, on their honeymoon.

In his youth, Walter, now 94, was a miner at Darfield Main, and Joan, now 90, was the manageress of a greengrocer’s shop in Wombwell.

In time they owned a greengrocer’s shop in Upton, West Yorkshire, which they ran for five years. In their spare time the couple enjoyed to travel and would spend most weekends in their caravan at Ingoldmells, near Skegness.

“They have travelled all over,” said Walter’s sister, Rosina Cole, 81. “They have been to Spain, America, Hawaii, and all over really.

“Walter was the first person in Monk Bretton to own a car, he had a Ford 8 and we would all ask for rides in it, we thought it was marvellous.”

The couple do not have any children and enjoyed eating out at restaurants before the pandemic hit.

Despite the threat of the virus, Rosina said that Walter and Joan enjoyed their celebrations at home in Monk Bretton.

“We all enjoyed family celebrations,” added Rosina. “It’s not often that you see a couple that have been married for 70 years so we were all excited and happy for them.

“They still bicker like a newly-married couple, but they’re best friends as well. My husband died a few years ago, so I am very happy that Joan and Walter still have each other to look after them and care for one another.”