A WELL-TRAVELLED York couple, who got married after meeting up only several times as teenagers, have recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

Charles and Val Plaistow, both aged 68, celebrated 50 years of marriage at home and received socially distanced visited from friends and family.

Val said: "We were amazed at how many cards and gifts we received and feel blessed with so much love and laughter in our 50 years together."

The couple met in Derby on December 20 1969, when Charles was an 18-year-old Private soldier on Christmas leave, and Val a 17-year-old GPO telephonist during the day and an usherette at a cinema in the evenings.

They spent two evenings together before Charles was posted to Libya until April 1970. Charles was based in Southampton when he returned and hitch-hiked to Derby to see Val a couple of times before they got engaged, with the intention of getting married a couple of years later, as Charles was due to be posted to Singapore on June 29, 1970.

However, they ended up tying the knot on June 20 before he travelled out to Singapore.

Val explained: "Our parents all said no and his commanding officer refused permission, however in 1970 the age of consent dropped from 21 to 18 so we got a special license and a cancellation at the register office and did it anyway."

Val travelled to Singapore to join Charles in September that year.

Over the years, the couple have also lived in South Korea, Germany and different places around the UK, including Chester and Preston.

The couple moved to York in 1981 and "fell in love with it," Val said.

Before retiring in 2014, Val did admin work at Imphal Barracks in Fulford.

Charles also worked as a paymaster at Imphal Barracks from 1999. The post was civilianised and he stayed on as a retired major, civil servant until he retired in 2013. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within three months.

The couple have one son - Den - and one daughter - Nikki - and four grandchildren - Dylan, Mia, Jacob and Iris.