A POPULAR couple were transported back to 1959 as they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Don and Mary Rouse from Lew, near Witney, were treated to a special lunch, complete with music from the period and a replica of their wedding cake from 60 years ago.

The event, organised by their children Julia and Wesley, followed a holiday in a Portuguese villa attended by four generations of the family.

Mr Rouse is a familiar face across Oxfordshire and organises the annual Bampton Shirt Race, while his wife ran the popular Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant in Lew for 25 years.

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The couple are still throwing themselves into the community in their 80s, with Mrs Rouse joking that their long and happy marriage is thanks to her 'tolerance' of the non-stop life her husband leads.

She said: "We like being busy but he can tell you what I have to put up with."

Oxford Mail:

Mr Rouse continued: "One of my friends at the Carterton Lions Club sent Mary a medal for putting up with me for 60 years."

Even at 82, Mr Rouse is on the committee for 12 community organisations and initiatives, from voluntary activities with the Lions Club to the Oxford-Leiden twin city link.

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The couple first met at a square dance in nearby Buckland on April Fool's Day 1955 and married on June 6, 1959. They have lived in Lew ever since.

For several decades, Mr Rouse has been involved with the Bampton SPAJERS, which stands for the 'Society for the Preservation of Ancient Junketing'.

Oxford Mail:

The term loosely translates as 'creating fun in Bampton to raise money to provide fun for our senior citizens', holding events such as the Shirt Race and the annual Donkey Derby to finance events and trips for the elderly.

For many years, Mr Rouse was a farmer while his wife took centre stage at The Farmhouse, which boasted six bedrooms and at one point seating for 115 for dinner.

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Mr and Mrs Rouse both celebrated their birthdays during the holiday in Portugal earlier this month, with Mrs Rouse turning 80.

Her husband joked: "I'm two years older but I get no more respect for that.

"Her birthday is just after mine, which means she knows how much to spend on me."

Shortly after their return, they were whisked to Wyck Hill House Hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold, where the cake was not the only taste of 1959.

Mr Rouse said: "When we walked in they were playing music from the late 50s. It's amazing how much they did for us.

"Everyone in the family played their part – and it was a nice lesson for our grandchildren to hear some real music."