MEMBERS of a Pickering couple's original wedding party were reunited to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Family and friends, along with four bridesmaids, celebrated the occasion with Derrick and Dawn Brewer at the Old Lodge Hotel in Malton.

The couple, who live in Ruffa Lane, met at a dance at Pickering Memorial Hall, although when first approached Mrs Brewer turned her future husband down.

"She had gone to the dance with someone else and when I asked her for a dance she at first refused," Mr Brewer said.

A further approach was more successful and the couple began courting while Mr Brewer was posted to Full Sutton in the RAF as part of his National Service.

"I was de-mobbed on July 9 and we married on the 10th in Sinnington, " Mr Brewer said.

After a period with British Rail, Mr Brewer worked as an agricultural engineer with his father-in-law before becoming a manager at Kirkbymoorside firm Perry Slingsby Systems Ltd, where he retired in 1999.

Both Mr and Mrs Brewer, who are now 80 and 81, were long-standing members of the Pickering Musical Society, and Derrick was manager of the Kirk Theatre for 29 years.

"We both love music and dancing and are now honorary members of the theatre," Mr Brewer said.

The couple said they had a 'fantastic' celebration to mark their diamond anniversary.

"All our family and friends were there as well as the original wedding party, apart from the best man - it was a wonderful evening."

And the secret to 60 years of marriage?

"I do as I'm told," said Mr Brewer.

"The key is to solve problems together and to discuss things. It also helps if you have the same interests and yes, I would do it all again."