Optimism, tolerance and staying with it are the key to a long, happy marriage, a Richmond couple say.

Jean and Astley Wylde celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary by returning to the church they married in and enjoying lunch with friends and family at the Hand and Flower pub in Ham.

The couple, aged 95 and 96, met as teenagers in 1937 while working at the AA, and married two years later.

The couple’s wedding was held at St Elizabeth’s Church, the Vineyard, Richmond, on October 12, 1939, and they moved to their Townshend Road home in 1942.

Mr Wylde joined military service before the Second World War and was called up to the Army and posted to York.

Helen Kavoussi, the couple’s eldest daughter, said being in the Army was a huge part of her father’s life and he will talk about it for hours, even after 75 years.

During the war, Mrs Wylde worked in the Air Raid Precautions and the couple barely saw each other for four years.

Once the war ended, the couple were together once again in Richmond and raised their family of six children; three boys and three girls.

They have since become grandparents to eight grandchildren, have five great-grandchildren and enjoy having a close relationship with their family.

Asked what the secret to their marriage is, Mrs Wylde said: "Optimism and staying with it.

"We had a wonderful day. It was lovely we all got together. We have a wonderful family."

Mrs Kavoussi said it was fantastic her parents reached their 75th wedding anniversary and they received a card from the Queen to congratulate them.

She said: "I hadn’t told them they were going to get one and they were delighted, my mother particularly.

"I feel very proud to be able to say my parents have been married for 75 years - it makes people’s jaws drop.

"As we were going out of the church, a young lady asked what the secret was and my father said tolerance."

Mrs Kavoussi said her father is often amazed their family grew from just the husband and wife to what it is today, remarking "once upon a time, there was only us".