A couple who have dedicated more than 60 years to protecting their community retired on the same day.

Control officer at the London Fire Brigade Ann Giles, 57, joined in May of 1988.

She initially worked as an administrative assistant in the East Ham fire safety team but four years later moved to the team in Merton.

“I’ve taken so many emergency calls over the years, some very bizarre ones, but the thing I’m going to miss the most is the people," Ann said.

"It’s such a great team and when you’re working shifts through the night, you get to find out so much about people that they become just like family.

“Every day is different as you never know what it is going to be when you answer that next call but I have absolutely loved the job. It might just seem like answering the phone, but it is so much more as you are helping people. I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else.”

Her partner Mark Young, 55, based on Plaistow fire station’s red watch, joined the Brigade 10 months earlier in July 1987, working in the administrative team for fire safety, also based at East Ham.

The couple, who met at work in 1989 and have been together ever since, have almost 62 years of service between them. They both retired from the LFB today (November 9).

“I’d always wanted to be a firefighter but when I initially joined the Brigade, there were no firefighter vacancies," Mark said.

"I was eventually able to start as a firefighter in 1993 and I’ve never looked back.

“The highlights for me have been having people around you all the time and the challenges and problem solving the job brings. I’ve stayed as a firefighter throughout my career, but I’ve loved just getting out there and getting stuck in.”