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Married bliss as wedding shows age has no bounds

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 15, 2014

  • 15/02/14 Harold and Mary's wedding, with 100-year -old Elsie as maid of homour - Swad, Swad Wedding of Harold Gough and Mary Shingler....Elsie Payne, Harold, Alicia Goldie, Mary

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YEAR after year for eight decades Harold Gough has spent Valentine’s Day as a bachelor, but now he has said goodbye to being a singleton for the last time after finally finding his perfect woman.

Harold, 79, and Mary Shingler, one year his senior, tied the knot at Swadlincote Register Office today - proving that it is never too late to find love.

And, if the sight of two senior citizens getting married wasn’t unusual enough, the couple were almost upstaged by their maid of honour, 100-year-old Elsie Payne, the lady who brought them together.

The three are all residents at Oakland Village care home, in Hall Farm Road, Swadlincote.

Seeing Harold, who has never previously married, often looking lonely, Elsie decided to introduce him to Mary.

Love blossomed between the two pensioners, who never looked back.

Harold wasn’t one for hanging around and within three months, he popped the question.

The couple were joined by nearly 100 friends and family members for the ceremony, which was followed by a reception at Swadlincote Town Hall.

Mary, who used to work at the town’s civic offices and was taking her third trip down the aisle, told the Mail: “Everything was absolutely marvellous. I enjoyed it right from the beginning to the end. My son gave me away, he was wonderful. Harold said he had a lump in his throat when he saw me walking in.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, you are never too old to enjoy yourself and we certainly have.”

As for Elsie, surely one of the oldest people ever to perform the duty of maid of honour, she is pleased with her role in bringing together her two friends.

She said: “I hope they are going to be very happy. They are good to me and are very nice people.”

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