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Marriage vows for Josephine Poulter and Calvin Spoerer more than 46 years after he first tried to wed the Maidstone youngster

By Angela Cole

The year was 1968 and 18-year-old Josephine Mills was in a pub in Brewer Street, Maidstone, with her parents.

It was the day she would meet her future husband – but little did she know she’d have to wait more than 46 years before he put a ring on her finger.

Josephine and Yorkshireman Calvin Spoerer met while the 19-year-old was visiting Maidstone to help install cables in the telephone exchange.

Josephine Poulter, from Maidstone, and Calvin Spoerer have been reunited after 44 years and have now got engaged

They spent a week in Bridlington with his family, and a week in Blackpool with her relatives.

But when it came to the crunch, Josephine, a former pupil at the Convent of the Sacred Heart School, now the Russell Hotel, got cold feet.

She said: “He did ask me to marry him. But I said no. I felt too young. We carried on for a bit longer but then it just fizzled.”

The pair went on to marry other people, with Calvin having two daughters.

Then, out of the blue, Josephine, now 64 and Mrs Poulter, received a letter at her home in Rainham Close, Maidstone.

Calvin had spent months tracking her down and had decided to bite the bullet and make contact.

Josephine and Calvin have been reunited after nearly half a century

Josephine said: “I was shaking from head to foot when I read it. We started writing to each other.

“We were due to meet on Good Friday but he had to go into hospital and couldn’t drive for 28 days.

“On the 28th day, he drove to Maidstone and within 10 minutes of meeting it was as though we’d never been apart.

“We’ve been together ever since – and we are going to stay together.”

The couple got engaged on Friday, July 18, and plan to marry in spring and settle in Kent.

“He’s such a lovely man, and he was back then. I should never have said no. He’s still the lovely chap he was. He says he kept me in his heart all that time. It’s amazing.”

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