A couple from Chippenham have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a family meal at a local restaurant and with a service at their local church.

The Reverend Melvin Banks and his wife Lilian celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday, July 28, 1962. 

Rev Banks was born in Shepherds Bush, West London, and moved to Chippenham with his parents and brother before the Second World War. Melvin's grandfather, father and uncles ran a greengrocery shop on Chippenham High Street for more than 60 years.

In 1957 he attended a meeting of Billy Graham, a renowned American Evangelist, where he got converted to a full gospel, spirit-filled Christian.

In that meeting he met a Salvation Army officer who encouraged him to train for the Ministry at the Salvation Army Bible Seminary in Denmark Hill, South London.

Rev Banks was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel at the Royal Albert Hall in 1959 and was posted to Ryhope, Sunderland, as a Lieutenant in the Salvation Army.

He progressed through the ranks and was transferred to Newcastle-upon-Tyne where he met his wife, Lilian Foster. Melvin and Lilian moved to Chippenham in the early 1970s.

Melvin and Lilian have two sons, Philip and Paul, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The couple received a card from The Queen for their diamond anniversary and celebrated with their family at a local restaurant.