HIGH SCHOOL sweethearts Barry and Marlene Ford have loved and cared for each other through the decades.
The Tamworth couple will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary on Thursday.
The pair met by chance on a train at just 12 years old, only to find themselves in the same class on their first day of high school the very next day.
"Marlene was coming back from Sydney and I was coming back from Newcastle in late January 1946, and we were on the same train," Barry said.
"The next day, we started high school together and we were in the same class, and we were in the same class right through to fifth grade."
On August 27, 1955, the Barry and Marlene were married on what Barry described as "a very fine day".
Marlene walked down the aisle of Tamworth's old St Andrew's Presbyterian Church wearing a dress hand-stitched by her mother.
She was flanked by her five sisters and one sister-in-law, who all wore dresses sewn by Marlene's mum.
After a night in Tamworth to wait for a train, "because not everyone had cars in those days", the happy couple set off on their honeymoon in Tweed Heads.
Barry and Marlene said they still look through their wedding album sometimes.
Barry, a retired accountant, and Marlene, a retired teacher, said they hadn't been asked before about their "secret" to a marriage which stands the test of time.
But, Barry had the answer.
"The best thing is we love each other and we look after each other and we enjoy life together," he said.
Barry and Marlene had three kids, and now have four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren as well.
The city of Tamworth has almost always been home for Barry and Marlene.
The couple have even lived in the same South Tamworth house for the past six decades.
"When we first moved here, we were virtually on the outskirts of town," Barry said.
The Fords used to enjoy travelling overseas when they were younger. Back home, they loved going on picnics with their friends and the "whole tribe of young kids" who tagged along.
For the past decade or so, the couple has been heavily involved in the Tamworth Historical Society.
The Fords were thrilled to be celebrating their 65th anniversary.
"We're really happy, it's a real milestone to achieve, which very few people do," Barry said.
"We've been very fortunate," Marlene added.
But, no plans have been made yet - the couple said they might enjoy a quiet evening at home.