A COUPLE who met at a popular seaside venue on the Isle of Wight during the 1950s, have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with their large circle of family and friends.

Ivor and Valerie Hickman tied the knot at Our Lady and St Wilfrid's Catholic Church, Ventnor, on July 3, 1954 — then, fast forward seven decades, they marked the occasion of their platinum wedding with a party at a pub in Tenterden, Kent, on Sunday, June 30.

They met at a roller-skating rink in Ventnor, believed to have been at the Winter Gardens.

Valerie (nee Beavis), 87, who was born on the Island and grew up in Bonchurch and Ventnor, used to play netball on roller skates.

Ivor and Valerie Hickman on their wedding day 70 years ago.Ivor and Valerie Hickman on their wedding day 70 years ago. (Image: Stephen Hickman)

(Image: Stephen Hickman)

She used to be greatly involved in Ventnor Carnival, as her parents had a float and her father was a member of the Ventnor Comic Jazz Band.

Ivor, 90, of Southampton, was doing his National Service at an RAF base on Ventnor Downs, at that time, but on completion of it, he worked on the Island's steam railway network — eventually moving to Appledore, near Romney Marsh, Kent, as station master once Beeching's rail reforms came into effect in the 1960s. 

They had lived in Yarmouth for a spell before moving to Kent.

Ivor was, at one point, one of the country's leading endurance cyclists — and gave up competitive cycling when he was aged 70.

The couple have six children and a large extended family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.