A couple who met on a blind date celebrated 50 years of marriage surrounded by family and friends.
Tom and Janet Baker of St Nicholas Close, Barkston, married on June 15, 1963 and celebrated their golden wedding with a special event in the village.
The couple met quite by chance when Tom returned home. Janet said: “Tom was born in Belton and I lived in Londonthorpe. Tom was in the army and I was working at Chambers in the High Street, where Yorkshire Bank is now.
“A friend asked me if I’d like to make a foursome up as Tom was home on leave. So that’s how we met.
He then went back to Germany but we stayed in touch. To cut a long story short we wrote to each other for two years, seeing each other occasionally, then married two years later.”
Tom served in Singapore and Malaya before being posted to Germany, where Janet flew out to live with him after they were married.
They spent 14 months together in Germany before Tom was posted to Libya.
Janet said: “We both went to North Africa, Benghazi, then got thrown out by Colonel Gaddafi when the Six Day War began. Our first child was born in Libya. We should have been out there for three years but we only stayed for two-and-a-half.”
On returning to the area the couple first moved into a house in the Earlesfield. Janet said: “We didn’t like it because we are both country bred and born.”
In 1970 they moved to Barkston, where they have lived ever since. Tom worked at the Blue Star garage in Brook Street, Kontak and finally Belton Garden Centre before retiring due to ill health. At the weekend the couple - who have three children and seven grandchildren - held a special celebration in Barkston, inviting many military friends from their days in Benghazi.
Janet said: “It was a really close unit. Everybody knew everybody else.
“It was a family really.”