George and Renee Feary, of Royal Wootton Bassett, enjoyed a wonderful party at The Angel Hotel, to celebrate their golden wedding and Renee’s 70th birthday. Their family and friends shared in the lovely surprise celebration for the couple who were married 50 years ago by the late Father Michael Roche at Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s former premises, now replaced by the modern church.

Renee, originally from Doncaster, first met George at work after her family had moved to his home town of St Ives, Huntingdonshire. Recalling their first date, she said: “I thought I was going to meet his friend!” However, romance was definitely in the air. “We tried to keep quiet about it because my father was very strict,” Renee said.

George was not deterred, and when Renee’s family moved 115 miles away, to Dunnington Road, Wootton Bassett, he maintained the courtship by travelling on his 125cc Lambretta scooter to keep in touch.

“That journey used to take nearly four hours each way,” George said. After a two-year courtship, his persistence was rewarded when they became engaged. They were married at Sacred Heart Church on the day after Renee’s 20th birthday. George, a maintenance electrician, worked at Pressed Steel in Swindon, and their first married home was a caravan at Orchard Park. Later they moved to The Jolly Trooper park at Bradenstoke until 1972, when they settled in a bungalow at Shelley Avenue, Wootton Bassett. They were there for 14 years before settling in their present house nearby.

Mr & Mrs Feary have three daughters - Kirsty, now 47, Claire, 39, and Georgina 30, who all live in Royal Wootton Bassett, and a son, Patrick, 29, who is at Swindon.

There are two grandchildren, George, aged 19, and Milly, 17. There are feline members of the family, too - the lovely cats - Tiger, and Jess who was inherited from daughter Claire.

Renee and George enjoy being close to the family. “I didn’t know anything about the party they’d organised, led by Kirsty. It was wonderful - quite overwhelming!” Renee said. “We’re so lucky!”

Renee was lettings secretary at Sacred Heart Church for some years.

During the repatriations through Wootton Bassett, she helped Kirsty at the Cross Keys, where a welcome and refreshments were offered to families of the fallen service personnel. Nowadays she enjoys gardening, while George’s hobby is amateur radio. “My call sign is G4MDH,” he said. “My interest began through listening to shortwave radio."

He and Renee are both members of the Conservative Club where they enjoy socialising.

“We’ve had such a lovely celebration,” they agreed.