FAMILIAR faces in Carisbrooke, Jackie and John Bell, have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Both grew up in Carisbrooke and later, as young sweethearts, pledged to get married — which they did in 1961 in Bermuda, where John was working for the Colonial Police and Jackie (born Jacqueline Kinchington) for the Colonial Treasury.

They enjoyed their time living in the sunshine and have fond memories of that part of their lives.

On returning to England there was a brief spell when John was based in Fareham working as a police constable, but he always longed to teach, as he had enjoyed his schooling at Carisbrooke Grammar so much.

The couple moved to Hinton Road, Carisbrooke, in 1967, after John completed his teacher training at King Alfred's College, Winchester.

His first post was in Southampton, then in 1970 he got a job at his old school, which became Carisbrooke Comprehensive shortly after John started teaching PE there, with geography as his second subject.

He ended up staying for 30 years, spending 15 of them as head of year.

Jackie, now 82, worked for around 20 years at Cowes Library.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jackie and John Bell on their wedding day in Bermuda in 1961.

They had three children — Duncan, Caroline and James, and went on to have 11 grandchildren.

The moved to their current home on Carisbrooke Road in 1981, and John retired in 1997.

The couple enjoy travelling and holidays. They have long spent every summer at Lake Garda in Italy, except for the Covid pandemic years, and enjoy day trips and hotel short breaks.

Gardening is also something they enjoy.

John was a keen footballer and played for Newport, Cowes, East Cowes Vis and Carisbrooke in his time.

He has also spent an incredible 50 years on the board of the Island Schools' Football Association, of which he is still chairman. There's a celebration upcoming to honour his long service.

What's the secret of a long marriage? John, 81, said: "Be happy with each other."

The couple celebrated at Lakeside Park Hotel with a surprise afternoon tea with family.