THE READING branch of Leeds Building Society recently celebrated half a century of serving the local community.

Rex Kilby, the man who opened the Leeds Building Society doors in Reading in 1969 and who remains a member of the society, was invited a a special guest at an event in the Cross Street branch.

Leeds Building Society also made birthday donations to Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre; Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice and the Reading branch of Samaritans.

Members attending the event voted on how the donation is shared among the charities.

John O’Hanlon, Leeds Building Society’s Reading branch manager, said: "It is quite an achievement to reach 50 years of service to the local community here in Reading and we're looking forward to welcoming Rex for the celebrations.

"At a time when high streets are seeing retail businesses close it’s great to be able to mark the long-term relationship Leeds Building Society has had with the town centre.

"We would love to see as many customers old and new on the day to join in the fun and help local causes in the process.

"It's great to be able to mark the special occasion by supporting local good causes with donations going to our local Samaritans branch, to Infield Dog Rescue, Duchess of Kent Hospice."

1969 also saw: Sugar Sugar by The Archies topped the charts for a total of eight weeks; Lulu was joint winner of Eurovision in 1969 with her song Boom Bang-a-Bang, sharing the top spot with France, Spain and the Netherlands; On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the sixth James Bond film and the first featuring George Lazenby, was released in UK cinemas and Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the Moon.