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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Golden couples in Gretna ceremony
Couple celebrate
Bill and Peggy Cullington came to Gretna to renew their vows
More than 1,000 years of marriage have been marked in a special ceremony staged at Gretna Green.

A total of 25 couples from south east England made the trip to the village to celebrate their golden wedding anniversaries and renew their vows.

The ceremony was carried out at the anvil in the Old Blacksmiths Shop.

Organisers said it was the first time such a large ceremony had been carried out in the village which sees more than 5,000 weddings every year.

Lynda Denton of the Gretna Green Group said around 500 couples a year came to the area to renew their vows or receive a blessing.

She admitted that getting so many couples celebrating their golden wedding at the same time was out of the ordinary.

"To have 25 couples all at the one time is very unusual," she said.

'Romantic magnetism'

One husband and wife to make the trip were Bill and Peggy Cullington who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

They were surprised by the size of the event and the interest it generated.

"We knew that we were coming here but we didn't know that we were the centre of attraction," said Mrs Cullington. "It was a bit of a shock."

The ceremony was carried out by Jim Henderson who said the event showed that the place still had a great attraction for married couples.

"Gretna still retains that romantic magnetism that brings these sort of people back," he said.

See the couples celebrating together

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