A couple are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in style with a family meal at The Ritz in London.
Ray and Heather Fenn are very close to their family, who all live near to their home on Princess Drive where they have been for over 47 years.
They first met when Ray joined his friends from the Territorial Army in checking out the youth centre that had opened on New Beacon Road.
While there, his friend got chatting to a girl called Jennifer, who then invited the group to meet her friends in Claypole, including Heather.
Remembering their first sight of each other, it’s clear that the attraction was instant on both sides for 19-year-old Ray and 18-year-old Heather.
“As soon as I walked in I made a beeline for Heather,” said Ray, now 70.
Likewise Heather, 69, remembers how her future husband stood out. “I knew which one I liked. He had beautiful dark hair,” she added.
At the time Heather was a student at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School and Ray an engineering apprentice, and the pair would meet up during her dinner hour.
The following year they got married at Claypole church, followed by a reception at the Robin Hood Hotel in Newark.
After earning his apprenticeship, Ray went on to work for some of the big engineering firms in Grantham, including Aveling Barford, BMARCo, and Marston Trailers, before retiring from management at Grantham Fabrications.
Meanwhile Heather has had several part-time shop jobs, spending the longest time at the Grantham branch of Superdrug.
Fifteen years ago she took early retirement to help out when their first grand-daughter Issy, who was born to their son Richard and daughter-in-law Suzanne.
She was followed by two more grand-daughters, Jess, now 14 and Becky, 11, born to their daughter Helen and son-in-law Keith.
All of the family will join them for their trip to The Ritz. The couple also plan to mark the milestone with a holiday in Spain.
They enjoy caravanning in Devon and Cornwall and most recently Anglesey. Other family trips have seen Land Rover enthusiast Ray drive them to roadshows in the area.
More recently they have made the most of the great outdoors by walking their two-year-old black Labrador Benny, with the breed being a firm favourite of the couple - Benny is their fifth.
When asked what the secret of their long marriage was, Ray said: “We love each other very much and we’ve always had a good laugh.”