A retired Kingston College lecturer celebrated his diamond wedding anniversary with a slice of cake and some champagne.

Former engineering lecturer Ian Stephens, 83, and wife Thelma, 80, celebrated 60 years of wedded bliss with a romantic day in at their home in Cecil Close, Hook on February 27.

The pair met in Portsmouth when Mr Stephens had attended a dance whilst he was on his national service in the Royal Navy.

Mrs Stephens said: “It was at the Embassy Ballroom on ladies night – it was a shilling entry. He was in the navy and uniforms always look glamorous. He asked me to dance and that was that.”

The pair were engaged six months later and married in February 1954.

They moved to their current address in 1959 when Mr Stephens worked for Mollarts in Tolworth for 30 years and later at Kingston College as a senior engineering lecturer while Mrs Stephens worked as an accounts clerk.

Together they had two children, teacher Linda Evans and quantity surveyor Trevor Stephens, five grandchildren and six grandchildren – one of which who is only a month old.

Mrs Stephens said: “It has been a happy home. I have been besotted by the children. Ian has been a good husband over the years. I can’t get rid of him.”

She added tolerance was the secret to their long and happy marriage together while Mr Stephens said it was a bit of patience.

The couple will celebrate their anniversary properly in April when their grandson visits with his family from Macedonia.

Mr Stephens said: “60 years is a long time but she is still just as beautiful.”

He added the highlight of their marriage had been the family they had created and the close relationships they all shared.