John and his wife had been regular visitors to Flowerdown House, Weston-super-Mare. They used to visit the hotel for respite every spring and summer until her death in June 2010. Afterwards he continued to visit the place they both loved.
Beatrice, known as Betty, had also been a regular visitor to Flowerdown, visiting on her own after she was widowed. However, although Betty visited in spring and autumn, their paths had never crossed. In 2012, all of this changed when they met by chance in the lounge. They started to sit together at mealtimes, talk and spend time together. They realised that they had much in common.
Their friendship blossomed. John started writing Betty love letters and Betty wrote back. They planned to meet up after Betty returned from a holiday in Malawi. But Betty and John found it difficult to be apart and called each other every day during the five weeks’ separation. It was at this point that Betty’s daughter Davina and son David knew that this was more than just a friendship. Davina says: “It just goes to show that true romance can come into your life at any age and in unexpected places.”
Once Betty returned from Malawi they made plans for John to visit her in Leicestershire. John drove the 300 miles from Cornwall to Leicestershire to stay with Betty. He says: “As soon as I stepped through her front door, it felt like I had lived there forever.” The next time John visited he stayed longer. They went shopping together, regularly went out for Sunday lunch and John used to give Betty small presents to show how much he cared.
Their romance was a contented one and, after less than a year, they took the decision to move to Weston-super-Mare to be together.
They would say to each other
“I’ve never been as happy as when I’m with you.”