PETER and Marilyn Roberts, of Royal Wootton Bassett, were astonished by a chorus of “CONGRATULATIONS!” and applause from dozens of guests, when they arrived at The Crown in Broad Hinton, where they had been persuaded to pop out for a quiet lunch writes Stella Taylor.

“We had no idea,” declared Marilyn. “What a wonderful surprise!”

The hugely successful event, attended by so many friends and family members, including their three grandchildren, was a closely guarded Golden Wedding secret, representing 50 years of wedded bliss, masterminded by their daughter Louise, her husband John and his teenage daughter, with the Roberts’ sons Paul and Neal and their wives Leonor, who is French and Malin, who is Swedish.

Originally from London, Marilyn and Peter are well known in Royal Wootton Bassett, where they settled over 30 years ago, having lived at Bedford, Fairford and Swindon, through Peter’s work with Burmah Castrol.

A mutual friend introduced Peter and Marilyn in in 1967; romance blossomed, and they were married on May 17, 1969, at All Saints’ Church, East London.

Back in the day, 1969 was the year that the jet Concorde was first flown in a test flight in Toulouse and John Lennon married Yoko Ono.

Peter, a funder member of the town Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett, is a trustee of the Richard Jones Foundation, a local charity for which he was clerk for ten years.

He enjoys sport, and is a vice-President of Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club.

As member of the Town Twinning Association, Marilyn and Peter have many French friends in Blain.

Marilyn enjoys social history and is a long-standing member of the local Historical Society, as well as being a volunteer at the museum in the Town Hall.

She is involved in the U3A and is also a member of the National Association for Decorative and Fine Arts.

A wonderful cake, made by John’s mother, Penny, and a line drawing of the church where they were wed, were among further delights at the Golden Wedding party, where warm sunshine enhanced everyone’s enjoyment of a memorable celebration.