A COUPLE have celebrated a sparking occasion, despite the current lockdown.

Marion, 81, and Robert Hall, 84, who live in Gilling East, celebrated their 60th diamond wedding anniversary, surrounded by family and friends - at a safe distance - on June 25.

During the pandemic, the couple have embraced lockdown with boat rides on their lake at their farm.

“My parents always jokingly say isolation is a part of their lives way before coronavirus existed,” said son James Hall.

“Even though coronavirus has prevented a full celebration, we provided plenty of flowers, cake, gifts and cards on their special day.

“We marked the day the only way we can, with a socially distanced picnic in the garden.

“The last few months have been tough for my parents, since they’re a particularly sociable couple.

“Lockdown is very unpredictable, so hopefully we can throw a bigger celebration next year.”

Both from agricultural families in Ryedale, Robert and Marion met at a dance in Helmsley Town Hall.

The couple married on June 25, 1960, at All Saints’ Church Helmsley, and eventually moved to the farm, at Gilling East, with their five children.

Marion and Robert have received extra support from the community during lockdown, including bakery, milk and essential supplies, delivered by Ryedale companies.

“The secret to a happy marriage, especially in agriculture, is tolerance and understanding,” added James.

“My parents have embraced farming, like their parents before them, and so on.

“The farming industry is a commitment; you are not only married to your partner, you are married to the lifestyle.”