RON and Jeannette Branch, formerly of East Village, who are aged 76 and 74 respectively are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary on December 27.

The couple were childhood sweethearts from their school days when Ron attended Bideford Grammer School and Jeannette was at Edgehill College, Bideford.

Ron served his National Service in the RAF and the couple were married in North Devon. Later they moved to Rogues Roost, East Village, Sandford, where they lived for more than 20 years.

In l997, after Ron had recovered from cancer, moved to St. Denis du Payre, in the Vendee region of France.

The couple worked for Verdict Engineering, at Crediton, until the company ceased trading. Jeanette was accounts Mananger and Ron an engineer.

For a number of years, Ron was President of the Sandford Twinning Association and still keeps in touch with friends in their twinned village of Demouville.

They are very settled in France and really enjoy life in the small village where they live, which is quite near the sea, so they are able to swim regularly.

Ron, an accomplished artist, has his own studio at their home, an old farmhouse. He also holds an annual exhibition.

The couple, who have three daughters and three grandchildren, are celebrating their anniversary by coming home for Christmas, spending time with their family in North Devon.