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Diamond duo have been around the world in 60 years

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

By Laura Hammond

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AS dawn broke on the morning after Alan and Joan Dunmore got married, they were on a rickety train heading to an Austrian mountain.

They sat for 36 hours on wooden seats, surrounded by other people and with little to eat. The trip set the tone for 60 years of nomadic wedded bliss.

Over their six decades together, they have seen the world, visiting more than 120 countries in total – and they have no intention of giving up now.

"Alan was a traveller right from the beginning. He's an adventurer. He has a thirst for knowledge for other countries, which means he wants to go everywhere. He still wants to go everywhere," said Mrs Dunmore, 79.

The active pair spend their winters visiting warmer climates, like many retired folk.

But, not for them the safe and quiet surroundings of a Spanish hotel. Instead they hop into their VW camper and head to stranger climes.

Their travels, which for many years included their four sons, have seen them spend time in the Middle East, India, Australia, Eastern Europe, and South America.

They hitched to wherever they wanted to go to begin with, until buying a van. Mr Dunmore bought a camper van for their silver wedding.

In 1960, they drove across the Sahara with their youngest child in tow. On another trip, they were just hours away from being involved in an earthquake, as they passed from Libya to Egypt. Several times, the Rangemore couple have been forced to head to embassies for help. They spent three months camped on a Kuwaiti beach one year.

They celebrated their diamond wedding with a visit to the continent to follow the Tour de France.

Their life together has been one long adventure.

"We've been to some wonderful places and met some very nice people, and it's been real," Mr Dunmore said.

The pair met in a pub run by Mrs Dunmore's aunt and uncle. She had stopped in for a drink as she cycled from Woodville to Burton, and her future husband had popped in to pick up his wages from his boss – Mrs Dunmore's uncle.

It would be several months since they met again, after Mr Dunmore looked up his future wife when he was home from Gibratar, where he was stationed with the Royal Air Force.

"He was totally different to the grammar school boys I knew, and he was very unusual. He was strong and exciting," Mrs Dunmore added.

They courted through letter, after that, until they married at Woodville Methodist Chapel in 1954.

That is where the fun started – but it has not always been easy.

"There is a song, which says Stand by Your Man, and I have stood through Alan always. There have been times I have stood and thought 'why on earth am I standing here?' but the experience has been wonderful, "Mrs Dunmore told the Mail.

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