A BASINGSTOKE couple celebrated their golden anniversary with 50 of their closest friends and family.

Charlie and Susan Booth, both 70, marked the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary on February 1, with a party at Basingstoke Golf Club, in Kempshott.

Charlie first met Susan back in 1959 when he came into the shop where she worked on Saturdays – Timothy White’s and Taylors, in Wote Street.

The couple, who live in Foyle Park, Cranbourne, began dating and got engaged in 1962, marrying two years later at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke, on February 1, 1964. They celebrated with a reception in the Rose and Crown pub.

Susan told The Gazette: “It was an exciting time. It was the 1960s and the music was changing – the Beatles were just starting, and I am glad we lived through that era.”

The couple have a son, Russell, 45, and daughter, Carey, 42, and four grandchildren – Gary, Danielle, Sasha and Taryn.

The pair said they have many happy memories from their 50 years together including holidays in Skiathos, Greece, and a 16-day road-trip travelling on Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles in America.

Talking about the milestone anniversary party, Susan said: “It was fantastic and I felt like a film star. The atmosphere was terrific and we have had lots of thank-you cards already.

“When we got married, we had a family reception in the back of a pub because we had no money in those days, but we made up for it with this party.”

Charlie was a self-employed bricklayer in Basingstoke for most of his career before retiring five years ago. Susan worked as an accountant for Co-op insurance when she left school and currently works part-time at Harwoods Land Rover, in Edison Road.

In their spare time, Susan is a member of the Basingstoke Ladies Choir and the Carnival Choir, and Charlie enjoys fishing, gardening and maintaining the house.

Charlie said the secret to being a good husband was making his wife a cup of tea every morning. And Susan’s words of wisdom? “Keep busy, have lots of friends and a good social life!”