Two actors who met during a rehearsal of musical Show Boat toasted their golden wedding anniversary on Sunday.

Maureen and Ian Stretch, who married in St Andrew’s Church in Silver Street in 1962, celebrated their big day during a dinner near Welwyn with more than 50 friends and family.

The couple, who grew up in Enfield but now live in Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, met in Enfield 55 years ago.

Mrs Stretch was singing with the Show Boat choir and Mr Stretch was home from Naval College helping his father Alec, who was the director.

When questioned on the unusual meeting place, Mr Stretch said it was nothing out of the ordinary to meet his wife during a musical as he spent so much of his time with the group.

The pair, who moved from the borough after they married to save money, are two of the longest serving members of The Broxbourne Theatre Company – formally known as ETCEA.

The ETCEA originally gathered at Enfield Technical College in Queensway, Ponders End, before it was relocated to the Civic Hall in Hoddesdon in 1978.

Many of Sunday’s guests were past and present members of the theatre company.

Mr Stretch, 71, who is the chairman of the theatre company, said: “The celebration was absolutely great, everyone was delighted.”

The happy couple, whose anniversary was on Saturday, have returned to reality and are working on their latest project, Peter Pan the Pantomime.