A COUPLE who have lived in the same cottage in Ashtonunder- Hill for the past 60 years have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

David and Margaret Cotton, of Beckford Road, reached the milestone last Thursday and were delighted to receive a card from the Queen.

They welcomed more than 60 guests to a celebration party at Ashton Village Hall on Saturday.

Mr Cotton, aged 81, was born and bred in Ashton. His ancestors moved to the village from France in the 18th century and he is the last of the Cotton family still living in the village.

Mrs Cotton, 80, was brought up in Cheltenham but moved to Ashton at the age of 16 to live with Tom and Connie Archer at Old Manor Farm to help in the house and on the farm.

After courting for two years, the couple were married at Ashton Chapel on November 21, 1953, followed by a honeymoon in Torquay.

Mr Cotton’s first job at the age of 14 was a carpentry role at Gordon Russell’s in Broadway. He said “the land then called me” and after spending periods working for a market gardener in Sedgeberrow, at Colonel Robertson’s farm in Ashton and at Staite’s in Dumbleton, for the next 44 years he worked at the Archer’s Old Manor Farm in his home village, mainly as a tractor driver, until he retired in 1997 at the age of 65.

“I enjoyed every minute of it, except the sprout picking,” he said.

The couple have been active in village life and have been associated with Ashton Chapel all their married life.

Mr Cotton said: “We are both Christians and we feel we are always in the Lord’s hands.”

Mrs Cotton used to help out with the Girl Guides as Tawny Owl and also helped with youth work in Ashton.

The couple have three children – Andrew, Colin and Elizabeth – seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

As for the secret to their long and happy marnage, the Cottons say “the big thing is give and take and to be able to forgive.