Carol and Richard marry after decades of friendship
It’s said that age is just a number. That couldn't be more true in the case of Richard and Carol West, who’ve tied the knot at the ages of 81 and 70 respectively.
Here, the couple, who’ve been friends for decades and now live together at our Martin Court over-55s scheme in Peterborough, share how they overcame challenges presented by Coronavirus to get married.
“Life is super,” exclaims Richard.
It’s clear to see that he and new wife Carol are happy beyond words. Having both suffered the loss of their previous spouses, the couple had found new happiness.
“Carol came to live at Martin Court fives years ago, and I lost my wife about two-and-a-half years ago,” added
“I managed to sell my property and moved in with Carol – we’d arranged that when I’d sold up, I’d join her.
“My late wife and I had come to Peterborough in 1966 and lived in the same property for all those years. She
used to play darts and was a very good player around the city and she eventually joined a team.
“It was there that we met Carol and her late husband and we all used to socialise and go out for meals at the
weekends. We’ve always been friends – since about the 80s.”
Carol said that when her husband passed away, Richard kept in touch to make sure she was okay.
“He’s always phoned me to check on me,” she said.
“We’d always kept in touch and looked out for one another.”
Richard proposed during a party for Carol’s birthday around two years ago, and her daughter helped plan the whole day.
However, the Coronavirus pandemic threw up more than a few hurdles the couple had to overcome to get married.
I asked her to marry me, and she said yes. However, when we enquired at Peterborough Registry Office, they told us they weren’t doing any more weddings until 2021.
“We were told that marriages were still being done at Stamford, so I called them and they gave us a time and date for a ceremony.
“We’d cleared the first hurdle, but then we needed to get a Notice of Marriage from Peterborough to be able
to go ahead. At this stage, we were still on tenterhooks as to whether it would happen.
“Thankfully we managed to get an appointment and get it all sorted.
“But then we had to cut our invites from 30 to 15 as the Government restrictions changed quite near to the big day. This caused a few difficult conversations, but again we managed to sort everything.
“Life is treating us super now though.”
After the wedding, the couple and their guests celebrated at a hotel in Stamford and said their special day
would prove unforgettable despite the strange circumstances.
“It proved a memorable day for us,” Carol said.
“It was a bit of a surprise getting married again at my age, especially having been on my own for a while since
my husband died.
It’s nice to have some company at home again, but I was shaking like a leaf in the registry office! I couldn’t even hold the pen to sign the register, but overall it was a great day."
Richard and Carol had a honeymoon which included a trip to Nottinghamshire and to see friends in Redditch. They said they’re now looking forward to travelling the UK.
“We want to travel,” Richard explained.
“We’ve paid our family their inheritance, so we want to get out and explore now.
“On our way back from our honeymoon in Nottinghamshire, we went down to Redditch to visit some friends. When we were there, we booked in to Studley Castle for Christmas, so we’re making a start on our travel plans!
“We’ll look to do some coach holidays when they start again. We’re looking forward to it – as a married couple!”