Best friends have taken passport photos together every five years for 50 years

Two best friends have taken passport photos together for 50 years to celebrate their special relationship.

Retired probation officer Keith Laughton, 60, and paramedic Martin Dowle, 60, started the tradition when they were ten years old during a trip to Woolworths.

By coincidence, the pair found themselves in the same store five years later and decided to repeat their picture – turning it into a tradition.

On Wednesday the friends, who met when they were eight and are both now 60, will take their 50th anniversary photo during a visit to Skegness.

Keith said: “We’ve always been close.

“I mean there are months that we don’t speak but all I have to do is pick up the phone and we pick up where we left off.

“That’s just fifty years of friendship. It’s a special relationship.

“I have the full set of photos in an envelope with a sign saying ‘do not destroy’.

“I don’t think Martin has them all, so I sent him a collage of them all a few years back.”

The pair met aged eight when Keith went to introduce himself to Martin after he moved to his village of Bardney.

While Keith still lives there, Martin now lives in London.

During their lifetime friendship the pair lived together, brewed beer in Martin’s back garden aged 15, and shared a tent at Glastonbury.

Keith said: “We both get excited and start planning it, and then we realise it means another five years has gone by.

“I would describe Martin as a lovely laid back guy. Nothing phases him and his job isn’t something I could have ever done.

“Sometimes it’s almost as if he’s horizontal, with how relaxed he gets.”

“The 55th photo was interesting because we went to the local train station – quite late at about 8pm.

“As we got there, it was packed, and a train was just coming in, so we sulked in the shadows for about 20 minutes and sneaked into the photobooth.

“We must have looked a bit strange – two fully grown men sneaking into a photo booth together.

“We did have a joke where if one of us passes away, we would hold a photo or cut out of the other one to keep it up – hopefully that won’t be any time soon though.”