IT WAS a case of he who dares wins for Keith Treadwell who met his wife of 60 years after friends challenged him to talk to her at the bus stop.

Mr Treadwell and his wife Joan celebrate their diamond anniversary today.

They were both born in 1929 and grew up in parallel streets in East Oxford but they were 18 before they first spoke.

Mrs Treadwell, who was born Joan Chapman, went to the Girls’ Central School in New Inn Hall Street, while Mr Treadwell attended the Oxford City Technical School.

During the Second World War, Mr Treadwell served in the Royal Air Force, and Mrs Treadwell worked in Barclays Bank in the High Street.

In 1947, she had been out to the cinema and was on the bus home.

She said: “I was on the top deck of the bus and so were he and his friends. We both got off at the same stop, Fairacres Road.

“One of them had dared him to talk to me and they walked off. When we got home I walked into my house and he walked into his. It was different in those days, there was a certain etiquette.

She added: “I don’t know why we met up a second time.”

When they married in August 1952, Mrs Treadwell was handed her notice, under the bank’s policy of not employing married women.

Their first son Graham was born in 1953, followed by daughters Janet in 1955 and Susan in 1961, and their youngest Andrew born in 1963.

They have seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

In 1967 they moved into the house in Rose Hill where they have lived ever since.

Mr Treadwell worked at Morris Motors until he retired, and Mrs Treadwell spent most of her time being a full-time wife and mother.

As for the secret to a long and happy marriage, the couple are not letting on.

“I don’t know,” said Mrs Treadwell, “Really we’re chalk and cheese.

“In those days we made the marriage vows and stuck to them, you didn’t get divorced.

“Everyone was so glad the war was over they never thought about straying.”