Best Friends Forever: Two buddies reveal they’ve taken passport photos together every five years for the past FIVE decades
- Keith Laughton and Martin Dowle, both 60, celebrate 50 years of passport photos
- Best friends from Lincolnshire have been taking photos together since they were 10
- They got into a photo booth at Woolworths to commemorate their very first trip to Lincoln and have met for a photo every five years since
Meet the best friends who have been taking passport photos together every five years for the past 50 years.
Retired parole officer Keith Laughton and paramedic Martin Dowle, both 60, started the tradition when they were ten.
They climbed into a photo booth at Woolworths to commemorate their very first trip to Lincoln.
Completely by accident, the couple found themselves back at Woolworths five years later and decided to make their photo visits a tradition.
They’ve done it every five years since, and on Wednesday, July 20, the couple will take their 50th anniversary snap.
In 1972, at the age of 10, Martin Dowle (left) and Keith Loughton (right) celebrated their first trip to Lincoln by taking a picture in a Woolworth photo booth
Now in 2022, at the age of 60, the couple will celebrate 50 years of sharing passport photos next Wednesday
Martin and Keith in 1987 at the age of 25. Best friends met at the age of eight when Keith (right) introduced himself to Martin (left) after moving to his village of Bardney
Keith said: “We’ve always been close. I mean, there are months when 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 only fifty years of friendship. It’s a special relationship. I have all the 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 ago.’
The couple met at the age of eight when Keith introduced himself to Martin after moving to his village of Bardney.
While Keith still lives there, Martin now resides in London.
Keith recalled the times the two lived together, from brewing beer in Martin’s back garden at the age of 15 to camping in Glastonbury together.
Martin is the godfather of Keith’s youngest daughter. The two take the next photo during a visit to Skegness.
In 1977, at the age of 15, the best friends happened to find themselves back at Woolworths and decided to make a tradition of it
1982 at the age of 20. The couple recall the times they lived together, from brewing beers in Martin’s back garden to camping in Glastonbury together
1992 at the age of 30. Keith (right) reveals the pair are still incredibly close. Although they can’t speak for months, when they pick up the phone they pick up where they left off
Keith said: “We’re both excited and we start planning it and then we realize another five years have passed.
“I would describe Martin as a lovely, laid back guy. Nothing upsets him and his job is not something I could ever have done. Sometimes it’s almost like he’s lying horizontally with his relaxation.”
Keith joked about their last photo together, adding: “The 55th photo was interesting because we were going to the local train station – quite late around 8pm.
1997 at the age of 35. Keith says they both excitedly plan their next photo and then realize another five years have passed
2002 at the age of 40. The two have always been close and Martin is the godfather of Keith’s youngest daughter
2007 at the age of 45. For their 50th anniversary photo, Martin and Keith will travel to Skegness to have their passport photo taken in the photo booth
2017 at the age of 55. The couple say this photo was interesting because it was taken at a train station late one evening and they sulk in the shade for 20 minutes and then sneak into a photo booth
“When we got there it was packed and a train was just pulling in, so we sulked in the shade for about 20 minutes and sneaked into the photo booth.
“We must have looked a bit odd – two grown men sneaking into a photo booth together.
“We had a joke where if one of us died we would hold up a photo or cut it out of the other to keep it going – hopefully that won’t be anytime soon!”