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Couple mark milestone of their own at Faslane parade

Alan Pitchfork and his wife Brenda are celebrating 50 years of marriage after meeting at the naval base in the 1960s.

Former Royal Navy submariner Alan Pitchfork and his wife Brenda, a former Wren, from North Yorkshire, who met on the base and are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary (Jane Barlow/PA)
Former Royal Navy submariner Alan Pitchfork and his wife Brenda, a former Wren, from North Yorkshire, who met on the base and are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary (Jane Barlow/PA)

A couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary have said they “honoured” to attend another 50th celebration – at the naval base where they met and got engaged.

Alan Pitchfork was serving on the HMS Repulse submarine, based at Faslane in Argyll in the 1960s when he met wife-to-be Brenda, who was working as a radio operator.

The 71-year-old former submariner said he “instantly fell in love” with the young Wren when they met at the communication centre – and eventually decided to propose on the site.

I accepted his offer of marriage here, we married in Helensburgh, so we're celebrating 50 years of marriage and coming back to the place where it all started Brenda Pitchfork

On Friday, the couple from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, returned to the naval base for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD).

Mrs Pitchfork, 69, told PA: “I think on the evening I was asked if I wanted to go to the cinema with Alan and it was a film I wanted to see so we headed off for the cinema.

“Then he took me to a slightly different area and proposed to me, which is why this place is so special.

“I accepted his offer of marriage here, we married in Helensburgh, so we’re celebrating 50 years of marriage and coming back to the place where it all started.

“I feel quite honoured to be here today.”

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Alan Pitchfork and his wife Brenda share a kiss back where it all started for their relationship (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Pitchfork said the area “has changed tremendously over the 50 years”.

He added: “It’s just wonderful to come back here after 50 years, see all the changes, it brings a lot of memories back for us both. We feel honoured.

“I think the story’s got around a little bit, we’ve had quite a few people mentioning it so we feel like celebrities, famous people, but we’re not.”

When asked if any of the submariners currently serving at the base had followed his example, he said: “I haven’t had much chance to talk to any of the young guns yet but there’s plenty of them so I’m sure it must happen.”

PA

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