IT WAS love at first sight for a Basingstoke couple who last week celebrated 50 years of marriage.

Peter and Carole Catton, who are both originally from London but now live in Windermere Avenue, Kempshott, met when Peter paid a visit to a good friend.

Peter, 71, recalled: “Carole was his next-door neighbour. We first met at the doorstep, and took it from there. I knew that was it, and that I was going to marry her.

“Even though I was quite shy, I asked her out and we went to the cinema. I can’t remember what film we saw but I can remember that I wore a suit and drainpipe trousers.”

Peter was so sure of his feelings for Carole from the start that within six months, the former architectural administrator had proposed.

He said: “It wasn’t very romantic, just in the lounge. Then we went and picked the ring, which was an antique.”

The couple, who are now both retired, married in Eltham Parish Church on March 28, 1964 and, three years later, moved to Wordsworth Close, in Popley, Basingstoke.

They lived there for 18 years, raising their two daughters, before moving to their current home, where they have remained for the last 29 years.

Carole, 69, who worked as a manager of mental health services for Stonham, remembered being equally impressed by her husband from the beginning of their relationship.

She said: “I did like him right from the start – everything about him. He’s kind and thoughtful – just lovely.

“He has been rock solid over the years, and even though he missed out on having a boy to take to the football, our girls used to go with him. Having our own interests has been good for him and good for me.”

Peter concluded: “Soulmates is a corny word, but we like each other, and we have liked – and loved – each other for 50 years.”

The couple, who recently attended a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour with fellow golden and diamond wedding anniversary couples didn’t want to have a big party to mark their golden wedding anniversary.

Instead, they plan to celebrate quietly with their family, including their six grandchildren.