WATER bailiff Mike Gadsby and wife Sylvia have celebrated 50 years of marriage.
The golden couple celebrated their five decades of happy marriage with friends and family at the Coach and Horses in Fenny Bentley last week and say "give and take" is the secret to matrimonial bliss.
Mike, a retired builder who fills his spare time patrolling the Henmore and Bentley Brooks for Ashbourne Fly Fishing Club, said their wedding, at the former Ashbourne Congregational Church in Derby Road, was the "only nice day of the week".
After the wedding they were joined by around 80 people for a reception at the Peveril of the Peak Hotel in Thorpe.
Mike, 77, a keen countryman and member of Ashbourne Field Club, worked with Ashbourne building firms, including P Birch and Sons and Tyler and Coates, before retiring 12 years ago and settling in to a regular routine of keeping a watchful eye over three miles of river as well as helping on the Birdsgrove and Okeover Estates.
Sylvia, 72, who was born in Belper Road close to where the couple now live, met Mike at a dance in Mayfield after they were introduced by mutual friend Arthur Cannon. Mike confessed that it took a "couple of attempts" to convince Syliva to marry him but they eventually tied the knot on June 3, 1964, and, following a honeymoon in Scarborough, settled at their home in Belper Road.
Reflecting on their long and happy marriage, Mike said: "I think the secret to being together so long is give and take.
"Sometimes we can be a bit like Jack and Vera off Coronation Street and we've had our ups and downs, same as any marriage, but we've never properly fallen out.
"I think people who are married and say they've never had a cross word said are not telling the truth, but we always sort it out.
"It seems like these days everyone's so busy. Everyone's got high-powered jobs and nobody has the time to work through mistakes and problems together.
"But for us, 50 years might be a long time but it really doesn't seem that long."