HANK Marvin glasses and a Bill Haley kiss curl were all the ingredients needed to start off a romance that has now seen 50 years of marriage celebrated.

Ruth and Barry Young first met in 1962, aged 18 and 20 respectively, when Ruth was staying at her auntie’s house in Sutton Scotney which was next door to Toogood’s Garage where Barry was doing an engineering apprenticeship.

“I saw her, but I didn’t speak to her,” said Barry.

“Then Ruth’s cousin suggested that I go and see her and that’s what I did.

“Only I didn’t do it when she was walking about all dressed up, I went up to the house and she answered the door with her curlers in.

“I asked if she wanted to go out now, she said I don’t think so (because of the curlers).

“I took her out the next night, but I had sold my car that day, so I had to borrow a mate’s car.”

“It was his Hank Marvin glasses and Bill Haley kiss-curl that first drew me to Barry,” said Ruth.

The pair dated for a couple of years before they got married in Wonston Parish Church on 30 May, 1964 and subsequently went on their honeymoon to the Isle of Wight.

Barry spent 30 years of his working life as a mechanic as well as doing agricultural repairs, working for the local water company in Cholderton as well as part time sheep farming.

Ruth started her career as a shop worker before she had children and stopped to look after them.

The couple, who now live in Ragged Appleshaw, have four children, and six grandchildren – with one more due this month.

Their secret to a long and happy marriage is give and take.

“I suppose everybody says that but it’s true,” said Barry.

The couple celebrated 50 years together with a family gathering in Cholderton on Saturday, 31 May.