They've been around the world in 70 years

FROM fishing for piranhas on the Amazon river to a trip to the snowy mountains of Alaska – it's this sense of adventure that has led to 70 wonderful years of marriage for Walter and Joan Hellier.

Mr Hellier, 91, and his wife, 88, of Mey Close, Waterlooville, are just one of the few couples in our area to have reached their platinum wedding anniversary.

They celebrated with a family gathering at the Brookfield Hotel, Emsworth, but it was a lower-key affair than initially planned after the death of their daughter Wendy Brown, a local councillor in Waterlooville. She died in June at the age of 63 after losing a battle with cancer.

Wendy had been planning a big party for her parents.

Her husband Victor, 71, of Avondale Road, Waterlooville, said: 'Wendy attributed her own quality of life to the fact her mother and father always put their family and home before anything else.'

Mr and Mrs Hellier are Portsmouth born and bred.

Mrs Hellier grew up in Hunter Road, Southsea, while Mr Hellier hails from Twyford Avenue in Stamshaw.

They met in 1937 while Mr Hellier was working as a builder in Portchester and the pair spied each other when Mrs Hellier was on a bus.

Mr Hellier later asked her out and they have never looked back since.

Their first dates were touring the countryside in Mr Hellier's sports car.

The pair were married on August 2, 1938, at Portsmouth Registry Office.

Just a year later, they were separated when Mr Hellier joined the Royal Navy and was stationed in Newfoundland, Canada and Iceland.

On Mr Hellier's return to England he continued to work as a joiner, while Mrs Hellier became a full-time mum. They went on to have three children, William, 68, Wendy and Derek, 57.

The lovebirds were quite clear on why their marriage has been a success.

'He has always been there when I wanted,' said Mrs Hellier. 'We have always done everything together. We give and take.

'It's been a pleasure to be with him.'

Mr Hellier said: 'She's been a wonderful wife all this time. She has looked after the children well and never made any demands.

'She's a happy person.'