An OAP couple with a combined age of 172 have tied the knot – but can’t go on honeymoon because of hospital appointments.
Thomas Mensforth, 85, and Emily Stephenson, 87, first met half a century ago when they were part of the same wider group of friends.
But their lives went in different directions and they both got married and had children and lost touch around 15 years ago
It was only when Thomas spotted the death announcement of Emily’s son Albert, 59, last summer that he made contact with the funeral directors to pass on a card sending his sympathy.
One of his granddaughters then went a step further and put the two in touch by phone and they have now got married.
Thomas, a former miner, and Emily, who worked as a carer, exchanged vows at South Shields Register Office, Tyne and Wear.
The couple do not have plans for a honeymoon as they both have hospital appointments to keep.
Thomas, who had lived in South Shields all his life, has now moved to Jarrow to live with Emily.
He said: “I phoned her up and went around to see her to give her my condolences and she’d not been out been out for years so I asked her out to Simonside Club’s karaoke night and we’ve been coming down since last August.
“Getting married has been smashing.”
Emily, whose first husband George died in 1983, added: “I wouldn’t go out, I was working all the time and worked different shifts and I hesitated when he first asked.
“It’s lovely to be married. We love each other’s company.
“To have everyone together, we’re over the moon.”
John, whose first wife Dorothy died in 2014 aged 86, is dad to Christine, 63, Margaret Wardropper, 63, Elise Nicholas, 61, Thomas, 59, and Keith, 54.
Emily is mum to George, 67, John, 65, the late Malcolm, 54, and Albert and Margaret Abedzadeh, 55.
Margaret said: “We are all very happy that they have married and that my dad has found happiness again.
“Emily is lovely. I call her my wicked stepmother, but we’re very pleased to welcome her to the family.”