A HAPPY couple turned back the clock to the night they first met as they shared a waltz to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Pat and John Hancocks, of Rowley Farm, in Holt Heath, near Worcester, first met back in 1949 when they both attended a dance at Hallow Village Hall.

Afterwards, Mr Hancocks asked his wife-to-be if he could take her back to her home.

But first he had to prove that he was up to the task. Mrs Hancocks' sister, Mavis, had been put in charge of getting her younger sibling home safely, so she made Mr Hancocks walk along the badminton court white line to prove his sobriety.

Having passed the test, he duly escorted her home.

They married five years later, on July 24, 1954, at St Philip and St James Church, in Hallow, with a reception held at The Crown, also in the village.

And they relived that night they first met during their 60th anniversary celebrations at Little Witley Village Hall when, surrounded by family and friends, they enjoyed live and even an anniversary waltz to mark the occasion.

Mrs Hancocks was working at Gertrude Mitchell’s, in Worcester, in tailoring and gowns, and Mr Hancocks was undertaking his National Service in the RAF when they met.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Hancocks went to Avoncroft Agricultural College in Bromsgrove, serving part of his studentship at Heath Farm, Hallow.

In 1954 he moved to Rowley Farm, Holt Heath, where the couple still live to this day.

They worked together on the farm, initially growing a range of crops and keeping sheep, pigs and poultry before developing their Guernsey dairy herd.

The nature of the farm followed the general agricultural trend towards specialisation, such that by the early 1960s the dairy herd was the only enterprise.

The herd was finally dispersed in 1992 and since then, the land has mainly been let for sheep grazing.

Since retiring, they have made the most of having the chance to travel and visit different parts of the world.

They have also been staunch supporters of the Midlands Air Ambulance charity, raising significant amounts by hosting events at their home.

They were joined for their anniversary celebrations by their sons Peter and David, daughters in-law Cheryl and Sue, and their four grandchildren, Jenni, Kate, Liz and John.

Mr and Mrs Hancocks, who are 84 and 82 respectively, were also delighted to receive a message of congratulations from the Queen.