Holiday romance was true love for determined teen who tracked down his Burnley bride

Tony and Sheila in their tandem riding days
Tony and Sheila in their tandem riding days

A holiday romance between two teenagers proved to be true love.

For those lovestruck teens, Tony Mercer and his wife Sheila, celebrate 60 years of marriage this week.

Love is still sparkling for Diamond wedding couple Tony and Sheila Mercer.

Love is still sparkling for Diamond wedding couple Tony and Sheila Mercer.

The couple met in Blackpool where they were both holidaying at Tony's aunt's boarding house in July, 1956.

When they returned to their respective homes, Sheila, who was just 16, thought that was it but she didn't count on Tony's tenacity.

Determined to find his sweetheart, 19-year-old Tony, who lived in Padiham, went to look for Sheila. He knew she lived in Burnley although he had no idea where!

But he managed to track her down to her home in Ayr Grove thanks to a friend and their romance continued to blossom.

Tony and Sheila on their wedding day

Tony and Sheila on their wedding day

The couple got engaged on Tony's 21st birthday and married at St Matthew's Church in Burnley after he completed his national service. They held a reception a the Bay Horse pub in Worsthorne.

Settling in Padiham the couple went on to have a daughter and three sons, eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Their eldest son Wayne lives in Australia with his wife and two daughters.

While in England Wayne was a keen cyclist with his dad and the duo have completed many time trials and won several cups and medals.

Sheila shared her husband's passion and for many years the couple had a tandem they toured the Lake District and south coast with. And while he may have turned 83 this year Tony still loves getting in the saddle and regularly clocks up two to three thousand miles a year.

And in August this year he was tackling a climbing wall with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The couple believe that that secret to a long and happy marriage is give and take in everything.

Their family will be joining them for a Diamond wedding celebration at the Rosegrove Unity Club in Burnley and the icing on the cake will be a telegram from the Queen.