OVERSEAS Wiltshire Times readers Harold and Joan Stokes have reminisced about their life in Trowbridge after celebrating 60 years of marriage.

The pair, who now live in Oakville, Canada, married on September 15, 1951.

They spent 33 years of their married life in Heddington Close, Trowbridge, before moving abroad.

Mr Stokes, an engineering apprentice from Rode, met the then Miss Doel, a copy holder with Butlers and Tanner of Frome, at a cadet dance in 1947. Four years later, they were married.

After their wedding, the couple spent their honeymoon at Newquay.

Although they were both educated in Frome – Mr Stokes at Frome Grammar School and Mrs Stokes at Oakfield Road School – they never met before that dance.

During their courtship, Mr Stokes did his National Service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), visiting Joan at her home in Spring Gardens when he had leave.

Mr Stokes said: “I purchased a BSA 750 motorbike, which was my pride and joy, and with the arrival of our first child I added a sidecar.

“The excursions on the BSA are remembered fondly and our interest in speed continues with a love of Formula One racing.”

The couple’s first home was in Rockabella, Rode, before they moved to Trow-bridge. By 1960, Mr Stokes was an engineer with Ushers Brewery and Mrs Stokes was a school meals supervisor at the Grove Primary School.

They have two children, Gillian and Colin, two grandchildren and one great gran-dchild, all in North America.

Harold retired as purchasing manager after 42 years with Ushers Brewery. They immigrated to Canada in 1998, to be closer to their family and live in Oakville, on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Mr Stokes said: “Every Friday we log on to the Wiltshire Times website to keep abreast of life in Trowbridge.”

The anniversary was celebrated at Lake Huron.