THE last few days have been very special for the Rice family, as Jean and Richard Rice celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, and then welcomed a great granddaughter into the world.

As a young man, Richard travelled to North Tawton with some friends from Morchard Bishop for a local dance. When they arrived they found there was no dance but a whist drive, which Jean Bowden and a friend were attending. Afterward Richard and his friends decided on a fish and chip supper in Market Street. It was here that Richard first set eyes on Jean.

Richard and Jean Rice celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on September 26 with family at their home.

They have five children, 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. The following day, Richard celebrated his 85th birthday with a tea party at Okehampton Rugby Club where all their extended family and friends were invited for tea and cake. Richard's birthday also saw the birth of his great granddaughter, Lamila.

Over the weekend the couple also took a trip with their five children and their partners to Minehead on a steam train and finished the weekend with a family lunch at Lifton Farm Shop.