COUPLES who celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary this year were invited to attend a special reception hosted by the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane.

A total of 35 couples from the borough joined Councillor Martin Biermann and Mayoress Chansopha Biermann at the council offices, in London Road. Thirteen of the couples had celebrated their Diamond anniversary, 20 their Golden and two had reached their Platinum anniversary.

Vera and Edwin Stanway were one of two couples who have marked an incredible 70 years of marriage, celebrating their Platinum anniversary on January 30. The devoted couple, from Vyne Road, South View, Basingstoke, met in 1942 at an RAF mess hall party on the Isle of Man, just after Vera was posted there. Edwin, now 94, asked her for a dance and the following year they married in Portsmouth.

The couple have lived in the borough for 58 years, and both worked for AWE Aldermaston when they lived in Baughurst. Vera, 89, said they still enjoy going out together, and added: “We make a point of going out twice a week to the Spruce Goose to have a meal. Our doctor thinks that’s a good idea.”

They have a son and a daughter, four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandson. Speaking about the mayor’s reception, Vera said: “It was very nice – the food was nice and the cake was delicious.”

Cllr Biermann said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to spend some time with the couples celebrating their Platinum, Diamond and Golden anniversaries during my year of office.

“It was a real pleasure to be able to listen to their stories about how they met and for them to share these with old and new friends.”