A PEMBROKESHIRE couple who have been part of each other’s lives since they were babes in arms are literally a pair in a million.

Duncan and Audrey Hilling, both 94, who were introduced as tiny tots, celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary tomorrow Saturday (May 30).

From around 350,000 couples who tied the knot in 1950, just a handful will be enjoying their milestone celebrations in 2020 – said to be statistically around a million-to-one chance.

The Saundersfoot couple’s love story goes back to when they were youngsters growing up on the outskirts of the village.

“I think Dad set his sights on Mum from day one,” said their youngest daughter, Miranda Davies of Tenby. “He actually first proposed to her when they were 14, but she told him not to be so daft!

“He never wanted anyone else, and fortunately she came round to his way of thinking.”

Duncan and Audrey’s courtship blossomed during the latter part of the Second World War, with Duncan – serving in the Far East with the Royal Welch Fusiliers – sending countless letters to his sweetheart.

After his return from Japan in 1947, he went to Kent to train as a horticulturalist, making regular visits home, where the couple secretly planned to elope to tie the knot.

They rendezvoused for the ceremony at Narberth Register Office – Audrey, a seamstress with TP Hughes in Tenby, wearing a baby-blue suit of her own making – before catching the train to Kent as man and wife.

In 1952 they returned to Pembrokeshire, where Duncan worked as head gardener at Picton Castle and the couple enjoyed happy times at the heart of the community in The Rhos.

They particularly enjoyed organising concert parties – Audrey specialising in dramatic performances and monologues, having achieved LAMDA qualifications up to gold medal standard, and Duncan with his fine singing voice.

He continues to sing to this day, and is the senior member of Tenby Male Choir.

After eight years at Picton, the couple were on the move again, this time to Carmarthen, Colchester and Exeter, where Duncan worked as a landscape gardener for hospital and university trusts and Audrey was an occupational therapist.

They finally settled in their beloved Pembrokeshire in 1979, when Duncan became parks and gardens superintendent for the then South Pembrokeshire District Council, retiring in 1991.

Retirement saw the couple fulfilling their ambitions to travel the world, and with more time to enjoy being a part of their home community and enjoy their family.

In addition to Miranda, they have a son, Lyndon, who lives in Northampton and elder daughter Katrina, of Harrow. Their second daughter, Ceri, from Broadmoor sadly died in 2008.

They also have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, who will all be joining in the platinum wedding celebrations via phone, video call and social distancing.

Miranda added: “Mum and Dad have achieved great things from humble beginnings, and we are all so proud of them.

“They are a remarkable couple – he’s still an old romantic and they have always been each other’s rock, and now more than ever.”