A KIND woman who helped a Royal Marine find his way when he was lost in a new town has celebrated being married to him for 70 years.

Christmas is a special time of year for any family, but in 2012 it was an even more memorable time for Dave Stiff, 90, his wife Beryl, 88, and their relatives.

They marked their platinum wedding anniversary on December 26 and shared the occasion with all their family and friends.

The couple, of Lawns Court, in Benfleet, have four children, seven grand children and three great-grand children.

They were married at St John’s Church, in Southall, and first met outside Southall railway station.

Their eldest daughter, Pam Smith, explained her father was on leave from the Royal Marines and was looking for his family’s new home in Scotts Road when he met her mum.

She said: “Their former home had been bombed and destroyed in Silvertown so he was new to the area. Mum showed him the way, and has done so ever since.

“I don’t know what their secret is. They have always been a couple, enjoyed the same things and worked hard to keep the family together, especially during their early years when they had very little money.

“Their life centred around us children, and I suppose still does, even though three of us are senior citizens and the youngest is soon to be 61.

“They are like a couple of bookends.”

Beryl said celebrating their special day with the whole family was “lovely”.

Dave added: “That’s the real gift, the rest is extras.”

The couple have thanked everyone who helped to make sure their day was an enjoyable and memorable one.