Well known for their hiking and music interests, Prestbury couple Paul and Lorraine Welch have been together for 50 years and according to Paul, it was “love at first sight”.“I’m originally from England. The first thing I did when I came to Pietermaritzburg was to join the Ramblers hiking club. I met Lorraine during a hike with the club and she was well known by everyone there. I met her again at an event that she sang in, but from that first time I knew she was the one,” said Paul. For Lorraine, it was that English decorum that drew her to Paul.“I had been living in London for four years and I met Paul the week after I came back. We naturally gravitated towards each other as we could relate to a lot of our English experiences. I was supposed to go back to England, but ended up staying after meeting Paul,” she said.“Paul was a professional electrical engineer and I worked at Umgeni Water for many years. It was our shared love for similar interests that has sustained our love for each other, long after retiring from our busy careers,” said Lorraine. “We’ve hiked up Mount Kenya and we’ve done a lot of trails all over the world,” said Paul.The couple said they also love music and are “crazy about animals”. The parents of two sons and a daughter, the couple said their children were brought up with a strict hand. “My grandson from Ballito often says, ‘You better watch this granny, she’s very strict.’ With me, it’s either the one way or the other, nothing in between,” said Lorraine. “We were also brought up in strict households. I was brought up during wartime in England, which was probably as strict as it gets,” said Paul.“For any successful marriage you have to be willing to forgive. We all make mistakes. “No one is perfect. If you don’t forgive you’ll harbour feelings that can ruin you. Don’t go to bed angry with each other. Communication is key,” said Lorraine.The Welches have been subscribers to The Witness for about 45 years. “When I was in Manchester I used to read the Manchester Guardian, a newspaper that was not just news oriented, but made you think as well. I found The Witness to be quite similar,” said Paul.“Our Witness subscription came back last Saturday which was coincidently our 50th anniversary. When I saw it, I was very excited, it actually felt like another anniversary present,” said Lorraine.