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Old flames reunited after name rings bell

By Lewis Dyson
Beryl Martin reunited with her first boyfriend Les Hogan and his wife Loy

Beryl Martin reunited with her first boyfriend Les Hogan and his wife Loy

Beryl Martin and Les Hogan are both in their 90s but used to go for bike rides and trips to the pictures together in their teens.

Mrs Martin, nee Tubb, lives in Worcester but was born on the Island in 1923 and used to live in Alma Steet, Sheerness.

During the Second World War she left in 1943 to join the Women’s Royal Navy Service, although she returned two years later to get married at Holy Trinity Church, Sheerness.

As a treat for her 90th birthday, her daughter Ruth Reeves brought her back to visit her “little island” last week.

During a visit to Blue Town Heritage Centre on Tuesday she noticed a CD called Songs of Sheppey with the name Les Hogan on it and thought it was a name she recognised.

On Thursday, Mrs Martin came across a book of poetry in Minster Abbey called Beyond the Skies with the same name credited.

The widowed mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of five decided it must be a younger relative of her former boyfriend.

Without her knowing, her daughter came into the Sheerness Times Guardian to find out more about the author.

We helped her to get in touch with the publisher of the book who in turn told her how to contact Mr Hogan.

"I thought it was very interesting because not many people make 90. Most of my friends have already taken off..." - Les Hogan

Mrs Reeves said: “My mother procrastinated, but just as we were about to leave she said I should phone the number.

“When I spoke to Les and mentioned her maiden name, Beryl Tubb, he immediately said: ‘She was my first girlfriend’.

“We called in and were warmly welcomed by him and his wife Loy and they had a good chat 75, or so, years later.”

Mr Hogan, 92, of Scarborough Drive, Minster, said: “I thought it was very interesting because not many people make 90. Most of my friends have already taken off.

“I wouldn’t have recognised her. We just had a cheerful little talk about the old days in the Holy Trinity Church Fellowship.”

There was no chance of rekindling the romance, however, as Mr Hogan has been married to his wife Loy, also 92, for 42 years.

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