A COUPLE are celebrating an amazing 70 years of married life after being brought together by a thunder storm.

War veteran Tom Mayor, 98, and his wife Frances, 90, celebrate their platinum anniversary today at their Great Harwood home after decades of wedded bliss.

The couple say they have had their “ups and downs” over the years, courting during the war, becoming proud parents of son Rodney and eventually grandparents and great grandparents.

Their journey together began when 26-year-old Tom noticed pretty 18-year-old Frances on the train to work each morning.

He said: “I really wanted to talk to her, but she always had her big sister with her.

”She then stopped taking the train and Tom thought he had lost his chance forever.

But on a chance visit to Great Harwood’s Palace Cinema, he found Frances working there as an usherette.

He said: “There was a big thunder and lightning storm going on, and she told me she was scared of thunder, so I walked her home. Everything started that day.”

However the courting couple were to be parted by the war for four years. They were able to marry at St Bartholomew’s and set up home together in Great Harwood in 1942.

Tom became a textile overlooker and was treasurer of the Blackburn District Loom Overlookers for more than 20 years, also serving as secretary.

They were active in Great Harwood’s church community and Tom was a senior scout master and cub leader at churches.

Frances said: “We have always been involved in the church, and we were both Sunday school teachers.”

The couple said they have had only one sadness in life.

"That was losing daughter-in-law Gwen Mayor, the brave Dunblane teacher who died protecting her pupils in the 1996 school massacre.

The pair plan to have a celebration today with their family.