TODAY’s Valentine’s celebrations will be extra special for one loving couple – as it is their diamond wedding anniversary.

Jim and Beryl Warner, both 81, are commemorating the 60-year landmark with a family party at their Pleckgate Road home in Blackburn and a cash donation to East Lancashire Hospice.

However, former primary school teacher Beryl claimed the February 14 marriage was purely down to good fortune, rather than extra-special romance.

“It just happened to be half-term, it fell quite fortunately really,” she said. “For me, the secret to a happy marriage is a lot of love, loyalty, trust and support.

“Jim is very protective, and he has always looked after me, he’s wonderful.”

Married at St Stephen’s Church in Little Harwood, the couple entertained around 100 guests at King George’s Hall before honeymooning in Bournemouth.

They have two children and two grandchildren, and retired police inspector Jim claimed the best part of marriage was building a family.

“Beryl is incredibly loving,” he said. "I think really that the secret to marriage is just trying your hardest, doing your best for each other and your family.”

Jim added that their choice to donate to East Lancashire Hospice was an easy one.

“We did the same on our golden wedding anniversary,” he said.

“The difference the hospice makes is incredible. They make life very comfortable for so many people. At our age, we do not need too much money, so we think it’s only right to donate to a much better cause.”

Three-quarters still celebrate February 14

EAST Lancashire residents are a bunch of hopeless romantics – according to a survey.

More than 160 shoppers and traders were questioned about love and how they celebrated Valentine’s Day.

Around 75 per cent of those questioned at Blackburn market said they celebrated Valentine’s Day, while 79 per cent said that they told their partner that they loved them every day.

But when it came down to how much love-struck East Lancastrians were prepared to spend on their Valentine, it seems the value of their love should not counted in cash terms.

Just three per cent said ‘the sky’s the limit’ on presents, while four per cent said they’d spend ‘as little as they could get away with’.

Debra Houldsworth, deputy commercial manager at the Market said: “Many clearly see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to indulge their partners a little with traditional gifts such as flowers, chocolates and a nice meal out or at home, but avoid the pegs or it may just be you hung out to dry on the line!”

'Restore the lost art of flirting'

FLIRTING expert Elizabeth Clark thinks political correctness has led to the death of flirting in Britain.

The Ramsbottom author, who penned a guide to flirting for the best-selling ‘...for Dummies’ series, said there was hope for all singletons on Valentine’s Day.

But she said both men and women were equally guilty when it came to not making the right moves.

Mum-of-three Elizabeth, 43, married husband Glyn six months ago after being together for 10 years.

She believes the nerves we get when interacting with potential partners stem straight from the workplace.

She said: “In work, nobody wants to say something out of turn, and there is that fear of sexual harassment.

“The principles in my books are very non-PC. My advice is to use the same skills in seduction as you would when networking or presenting, just to different degrees.

“You have to know where the boundaries are.”

Elizabeth started dishing out flirting advice 11 years ago after a career in human resources. She said: “I noticed graduates were getting duller, with poor inter-personal skills, so I decided to do something. I thought, ‘I can flirt and talk’, so I ran courses and then I got asked to do the books. I never planned any of this, but it’s worked out well!”

Elizabeth's top flirting tips:

  • Men – Don’t stare at cleavage. Men have poor peripheral vision, so when you’re staring, women can tell.
  • Women – Don’t go on about your exes. It may seem like the person listening cares, but really they’re bored rigid.
  • Men – Improve your small talk – bad jokes are not good enough, and any laughs they raise are false.
  • Women – If someone pays you a compliment, don’t be bashful. An embarrassed response may put them off paying you compliments in future.
  • Men – If buying a Valentine’s Day gift, jewellery is a great choice. Necklaces are a great flirting prop, as they require touch.