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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Gravesend pensioners who had fling in 1970s get married in Watling Court care home

22 May 2014
by Thom Morris

Nearly 40 years since they first met, Ted Newins and Gloria Blandford - who are both registered blind - tied the knot.

Great-grandfather-of-two Ted, 83, married his former love, great-grandmother-of-three Gloria, 69, at Watling Court care home in Gravesend.

It was the care home's first ever wedding.

Best Man John Adams hands Ted's ring to Gloria.

Best Man John Adams hands Ted's ring to Gloria.

They had rekindled a love affair that began in 1975.

Gloria, a former Westcourt and Southfield school pupil, said: "I was getting divorced when we first met and he was still married at the time.

"We met at a rehabilitation class because we were both going blind and they were teaching us how to cope with it. We started seeing each other but we got found out and he went back to his wife.

"After her death, Ted was apparently looking for me and had got in contact with the Kent Association for the Blind to try and track me down.

"They tried to pass me a message, but at the time I was in hospital with kidney failure so I never got the message.

"That night I had a dream about him and decided I was going to track him down.

"I rang him after the dream and after 39 years I said 'you won’t remember who I am' but he knew straight away."

Newly-weds Ted Newins and Gloria Blandford walk along the aisle greeting friends

Newly-weds Ted Newins and Gloria Blandford walk along the aisle greeting friends

The former St Margaret's Crescent resident, who was given away by her son Gary, added: "We spoke on the phone for a week. I was very nervous when he first came round.

"I opened the door and we cuddled and we didn't say anything. It was so romantic.

"I was gobsmacked when he asked me to marry him. I said yes straight away."

Ted and Gloria have a kiss.

Ted and Gloria have a kiss.

Ted, a former paper mill worker, now lives with Gloria in a two-bed apartment at the Ifield Road care home.

The former Dene Holm Road resident said: "The wedding day was heaven. My children think it's amazing and the amount of people that came was unbelievable. We'd just like to thank everyone who gave us donations - we got £870 - for our honeymoon."

The couple are now hoping to take a specialist cruise that can offer Gloria dialysis.

Rev Richard Martin, with Ted and Gloria and guests.

Rev Richard Martin, with Ted and Gloria and guests.

On Valentine's Day, the couple took part in a live web chat via Facebook.

Gloria and Ted took over The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s Facebook account to answer fan’s questions and dilemmas.

One fan asked, “Do you think romantic gestures are important or should we focus more on the long-term efforts of our partners?” to which the couple replied: “We think it's the long term efforts that are more important, but we still have romantic moments, with lots of cuddles. We argue sometimes but we always make up.”

Gloria added: “We spend a lot of time together and Ted always meets me in reception when I get off the bus from my appointments.”


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