THERE could only be one place to be when Sheila Stacey was planning a surprise diamond wedding celebration - her home town of Pembroke Dock.

Unbeknown to husband Dick, Sheila arranged for relatives and friends to gather at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre to celebrate their 60 years together.

The location was an inspired choice, as a young Sheila had performed there in revues and pantomimes as well as competing in a carnival competition, held in the former Royal Dockyard Chapel.

Sheila is the daughter of well-remembered Pembroke Dock couple Tom and Rose Smith of Upper Meyrick Street. Her father won the Distinguished Conduct Medal when serving in World War I and he and his wife were tireless workers for the British Legion.

Sheila was born in Waterloo, Pembroke Dock, and moved to Meyrick Street at the age of one; she later went to Albion Square and Coronation School.

She had worked at the town’s Woolworths, later joining the staff of the well-known Borough Stores, Bush Street.

Originally from Nottingham, Dick met Sheila when he was doing his National Service at the RAF flying boat station at Pembroke Dock, and they were married at St Andrew’s Church on August 17, 1957.

The couple moved around in connection with Dick’s work as a manager with Curry’s and the Co-op before returning to Wales in 1985. They now live in Kidwelly, but Sheila confesses that her heart is very much in Pembroke Dock.

She and her husband are big supporters of the town's Heritage Centre and a fine collection of Sheila’s photographs, including shots of carnival groups and pantomimes and plays by the St John’s Players, have been copied for the Centre’s archive.

Joining Sheila and Dick for their special celebration were daughters Julie and Janet, close friends Maureen and Richard Connolly, and their bridesmaid and flower girl from the wedding day 60 years ago, Jennifer Blunsden (nee Childs) and Margaret Phillips (nee Morgan), and their husbands.

The couple have asked that instead of personal gifts to mark the anniversary, donations are made to support the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust, which runs the Heritage Centre.