FAMILY members from round the globe gathered over Christmas to celebrate the Diamond Wedding of an East Lancashire couple.

A total of 22 relatives came from Australia, the United States and Italy to mark 60 years of marriage between Bill and Elizabeth Gunning who moved Langho in 2002 having lived Blackburn since 1961.

Mr Gunning, aged 83, is a retired engineer and director of Greenbank Engineering while his 80-year-old wife was a nurse at several Blackburn hospitals including Queen’s Park and the Royal Infirmary.

Both hail originally from Aberdeen and brought up four children, three of whom now live overseas.

Eldest son John, 60, and his family live in Queensland, Australia, while their eldest daughter Jenny MacRostie,58, and her family in the Abruzzo region of Italy, Youngest daughter Pamela Bradbury, 55, and her family live in Georgia in the USA.

They joined their parents and middle daughter Lindsay Nightingale, 57, who lives in Blackburn with her two daughters.

The entire clan, including spouses, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren spent a week together over Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales before gathering at the Mytton Fold Hotel for lunch and an evening Ceilidh. The 27 family members were among 120 guests.

Mr and Mrs Gunning, both past presidents of the Blackburn and District Scottish Society, lived in Billinge Avenue and Merlin Road in Blackburn before moving to the Ribble Valley.

Mr Gunning said: “It was a fantastic occasion and fantastic to have the whole family over Christmas and for the Diamond Wedding celebration. It was wonderful to have us all together, especially as 22 of all ages had flown in to join us."

The couple spend each Christmas with a different child and their family and are now planning their next seasonal trip abroad.