Couple celebrating diamond anniversary are still 'Smitten' with each other

A diamond couple celebrated 60 years of marriage after giving a whole new meaning to the phrase 'romantic meat up'. The aptly-named June and Bob Smitten, 79 and 84, from Berkswell, met when she went to buy lamb chops from the butcher shop he worked in.

Within two years they were married at St Giles Church, in Sheldon, and they marked their milestone anniversary on Thursday, May 23. As well as a congratulatory card from King Charles the couple celebrated with friends at St John Baptist Church's coffee shop, then family at the Ivy restaurant in Birmingham.

June said of their first meeting: "I thought he was very attractive and being a butcher he had the gift of the gab. I asked him to keep an eye on my bike while I went to another shop and when I came back it was gone - he'd hidden it in the freezer as a joke."

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A month later Bob and June, who worked as a hairdresser in Yardley, were dating before tying the knot and having a honeymoon in Jersey.

They worked together in a butcher shop they bought in Hall Green, living in this area, then Balsall Common in a combined butcher shop and house. This was sold upon retirement in 2002, at which point the couple moved to Berkswell.

Together they had daughters Anne and Wendy, son Neil, who sadly passed away in 2013, and now also six grandchildren.

June is an avid gardener and has opened up the couple's garden to raise funds for bereavement charities. She is also known for being an expert cake baker. While Bob enjoys clay pigeon shooting and looks after six chickens. Both help out at church coffee mornings most weekends.

June said: "I remember being very excited on our wedding day and seeing lots of people as many of our customers turned up.

"I put the secret of marriage down to give and take and having a good sense of humour."

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