VALENTINE’S Day may be on the horizon, but Edwin and Vera Stanway have already celebrated another marvellous milestone in their life-long love story.

It was in 1942, at an RAF mess hall party on the Isle of Man, that Edwin asked 19-year-old Vera for a dance.

Romance blossomed and on January 30 the following year, the pair married in Portsmouth.

Now 70 years later, they have become one of the very few couples who have celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary. And, like so many long-time married couples, they say that a “bit of give and take” is the secret to a happy marriage.

“You soon forget that it has been 70 years,” said Vera. “The secret is that you have to give and take.”

Edwin, now 93, and Vera, who is 89, have lived at Sylvaner Court, in Vyne Road, Basingstoke, for the past 20 years.

They moved to the retirement home after spending 38 years in Baughurst. During their working lives, both worked at AWE Aldermaston. Vera also worked for the AA in Basingstoke, and as a cheese packer at Sainsbury’s depot, in Houndmills.

The happy couple, who have a son and a daughter, four grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and one great great-grandson, received a card from The Queen congratulating them on their platinum anniversary. It is the third card they have received from Her Majesty, after they were also sent cards on their golden and diamond anniversaries.

The couple still enjoy doing lots of things together and go to a restaurant twice a week. “We have become each other’s half,” said Edwin, romantically.