HAVING a sense of humour and being able to laugh at yourself are essential for a happy marriage, according to a couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

Barbara and Alwyn Neal moved to the borough from Chingford when Mr Neal, now 87, bought a builders merchants in Eden Park, and have been happy here ever since.

And they came together with their family, which includes three great-grandchildren, to mark the occasion at Prima Donnas restaurant in West Wickham.

Mrs Neal, of Kechill Gardens, Hayes, said: “Our family told us about the meal because when you get to our age you don’t need surprises.

“It was really very nice.”

The 79-year-old, who is also known as Mary, says her advice to newlyweds is: “Keep a sense of humour always.

“The thing is you could be in a terrible temper but if somebody does something that’s funny you have to laugh.

“If you can laugh at yourself then it is a bonus.”