A Whitchurch couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary have thanked their family and friends for helping to raise hundreds for charity.

Pauline and Rod Williams, both 70, from Alkington Road, celebrated the milestone with a garden party over the Easter weekend, and have raised more than £600 for the Midlands Air Ambulance.

And Pauline was delighted with so many friends, old and new, coming together to celebrate a marriage that's had plenty of happiness and also tragedy.

"We got married on March 30 1968 and that was on Grand National day," she said. "We'd been going out together for three years so that's 53 years together.

"We had two children; our daughter, Sam, is 49 and we had a son, Nick, who died in a motorbike accident when he was just 19, on the Nantwich Road.

"It was a terrible loss and we came together closer as a family. Sam was married and our granddaughter Sophie was only eight weeks old when Nick died.

"Sam has been as close to us as she can be after that. These events can pull families apart or pull them closer together and it brought us closer.

"We had two days of celebrations as March 30 fell on Good Friday so we had a day on the Saturday too. Rod and I want to thank the people of Whitchurch. Rod used to be a herdsman up at Combermere and then we came here.

"Our weekend was so good with friends and neighbours, both past and present, and they were all brilliant. We want to thank Plants the Butchers and Walkers Bakery too for providing us with everything."

And the secret of their success? Pauline puts it, diplomatically, down to communication.

She added: "We've always said our secret is that we don't row, we negotiate. We've had years of experience of knowing what we're about and we always know what the other is thinking."