A DEVOTED couple, who have been married for more than 50 years, will be the guests of honour at a care home’s Valentine’s Day tea dance.

Rosalie and James Austen, who have lived in Basingstoke for over five years, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last September.

Now, the couple who live in the Pemberley House care home in Grove Road, Cranbourne, have been invited to share their tips for a successful marriage at the special Valentine’s Day-themed party.

Mr Austen whisked his bride off to the Scilly Islands following their wedding in Launceston in Cornwall on September 14, 1963.

During their marriage, the couple have had three sons – Tim, Nicholas and Jonathan – and now have six grandchildren – Imogen, Ruby, Luke, Dan, Elisse and Tia.

Mr Austen, who like his wife is 74, said it is important to see the funny side of life, adding: “I think laughter is the key to any great marriage. I have always tried to make Ros laugh and smile as much as possible. And, of course, love is very important too.”

Home manager Annie Lewis said: “Older people have such wonderful stories to tell about their relationships and marriages and have so much they can teach younger people.

“It’s so important to us to discover the tiny details about our residents and their lives. Anyone who fancies a lovely afternoon of dancing and romancing is welcome to join us at Pemberley House – you could even find love!”

The long-time sweethearts, along with other residents, are being taken back to their courting days with an afternoon of love songs from DJ Syd Wells on February 14 at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £5 and there will be refreshments on offer. For more details, contact Pemberley House.