60 happy years for couple who bonded over a bottle of beer

Norman and Freda Shield celebrating their diamond wedding.

Norman and Freda Shield celebrating their diamond wedding.

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It was love at first sight over a bottle of beer for a South Tyneside couple now celebrating their diamond wedding.

Norman and Freda Shield met at a 21st birthday party and have been together ever since.

Freda and Norman on their wedding day.

Freda and Norman on their wedding day.

Freda, 78, said: “It was my cousin’s party and Norman was looking for a bottle of beer.

“I told him where I had seen my brother put one and that was it. We just clicked straight away and have been together ever since.

“My boyfriend had dropped me off at the party, so I went in with one boyfriend and came out with another.”

Norman, 81, a former shipyard worker and bus driver, and Freda tied the knot at the former Durham Road Methodist Church and went on to have two daughters, four grandsons and one great grandson.

The couple, who live in Fern Avenue, Whitburn, are planning to celebrate their big day today by going out for afternoon tea with their family.

Freda said: “We have been so lucky and are still very happy and love each other. Norman dotes on me really and would do anything for me and I would do the same for him.

“We don’t agree on everything, but we never fight or fall out.”

Freda said it just seems like yesterday that the pair walked down the aisle.

She said: “I remember every single detail of it, including my dad telling me I had to have a costume (skirt and jacket) but surprising me at the shop by asking for the bridal dress section and me being thrilled.

“Sixty years is a long time, but I would do it all over again.”