Sparks flew when Jean and Tony Wright met while building London's iconic illuminated Coca Cola sign 60 years ago.

Now the Helston couple have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, with a surprise party thrown by family and friends at The Clies, where Jean and Tony have lived for the last four years.

Before that they were at Chytroose near the Water ma Trout industrial estate, having lived all around the country in the past.

Speaking about the party, which included a cake made by eldest daughter Claire and a telegram from the Queen, Jean said: “I couldn't believe it, I really couldn't. I had no idea whatsoever. Thank you to all the family for what they've done.”

The family were aided in their top-secret task by Cynthia from The Clies.

Jean and Tony met while working for Claude-General Neon Lights Ltd, in their factory in Wembley, Middlesex, which had been tasked with building a huge neon sign to sit above London's Piccadilly Circus.

The sign measured 44ft and had nearly a mile of lighting, with the first “C” alone being 10ft high and made in 16 sections.

Jean was among those working on the glass part, while Tony did metalwork. It was therefore fitting that it was lit up in 1954, just a couple of months after the couple married on March 27, in Sudbury.

The sign may have been taken down in 2003, but the love that it sparked continues to burn strong for Jean and Tony, who have five children – Claire, Carole, Sally, Andrew and their late brother David.

They also have eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, many of whom were there to help them celebrate their landmark anniversary.

This was only the start of a year of milestone dates, however, with Tony due to turn 85 in April and Jean celebrating her 80th birthday in June.

The couple moved to Helston as they have a number of family members in the area, including granddaughter Joanne in Helston and three grandsons, plus one great-grandson in Carleen. Another grandson lives in Reawla and their daughter Claire lives not far away in Falmouth.

However, for Tony in particular, Cornwall already had many fond memories - he was evacuated to Lostwithiel during the war and later helped construct the water wheels for the Liskeard branch of Trago Mills.

Falmouth Packet:

Falmouth Packet: