IT is 56 years since Joan Clarke and Arthur Stott, pictured, met on a day trip to Blackpool.

Now they are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

Joan, of Leigh, met Arthur, of Hindley Green, when she was 15 and he was 18, as they searched for the coach they needed to travel back on to Leigh.

Six years later, on August 25, 1951, the pair wed at Bedford Church in Leigh, and last weekend, celebrated 50 years of marriage. The couple were treated to a family party at their Severn Street home on Saturday.

Joan said: "Our son, Peter, and daughter, Myra, brought the party to us. We had food, cake, flowers, champagne and all the family -- it was wonderful."

Then on Sunday, a group of 13, including the couple's son, daughter and four grandchildren, went for a meal at St Helens College.

Joan said: "It was absolutely fabulous. It's where all the chefs train, so the choice and food were amazing. Arthur said that is the only place he is going to eat from now on!"

Arthur, who is ill and cared for by Joan, particularly enjoyed the celebrations.

Joan said: "We are counting everyday now. We are so pleased to have made it to 50 years, we'll just have to see how far we can go. Arthur is so proud of our children and grandchildren for arranging everything."