THERE are not many married couples who reach their platinum anniversary, but Beryl and Arthur Steady will be celebrating this landmark on Sunday (April 13).

Mr and Mrs Steady, who live in Whitborn Close, are both keen members of the Salvation Army and still attend the Malvern Citadel in Newtown Road regularly.

In fact, it was the Salvation Army which brought them together, during the Second World War. Mr Steady, who was born in Essex, had joined the Royal Air Force and had been posted to RAF Madley, near Hereford.

"We've both been lifelong Salvationists, and Arthur came into Hereford to the Salvation Army there, " said Mrs Steady. "I was born in Hereford, and that's how we met and started courting."

The couple were married on April 13, 1944, but could only spend two days together. "All the armed forces were building up to D-Day, so we couldn't have a honeymoon," said Mrs Steady.

At the RAF base, Mrs Steady was the Morse code instructor and also, thanks to his Salvation Army background, the bandmaster. And when the war was won, he led the victory parade through Hereford.

When peacetime came, Mr Steady got a job with the Audit Commission. During his civil service career, he was based at Morden in South London, Worcester, Cardiff and Aylesbury, and he and his wife raised their three sons.

And when it was time for Mr Steady to retire, they settled in Malvern, where they have remained ever since. Mr Steady still plays the tenor horn in the Salvation Army band and can often be seen with the band in various community activities around Malvern.

And the secret of a happy marriage? "No couple can agree on everything all the time, so to get on, you just have to agree to disagree now and then," said Mrs Steady.

Mr and Mrs Steady, who are now aged 92 and 89, will be marking the occasion on Sunday with a family gathering including their sons, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.