Wedding bells ding for bus couple after 60-year gap
TWO sweethearts are set to tie the knot after a chance meeting at a bus station rekindled their love – 60 years after their first date.
Great-grandparents Jean Stuttard, 81, and Brian Livesey, 79, first dated while working at a RollsRoyce factory.
The pair lost touch after four dates. Both went on to marry and have children, and were later widowed.
But in August last year they were reunited by chance when retired engineer Brian spotted Jean in a crowd at the bus depot in Nelson, Lancs.
They have been inseparable since and are delighting their children by planning to be married later this month.
Retired wedding dressmaker Jean explained: “We’d had maybe four dates back in 1957 but we both went on to have long marriages.
“Then last year I was getting on the bus when Brian asked: ‘Is that Jean Slater?’ – my maiden name.
“I asked him how on earth he recognised me and he said ‘your eyes’, which was very sweet.”
On their first dates, decades ago, they went to the cinema and for a few dinners but drifted apart. In 1960 Brian was married to Ann Allen but she passed away in 2013 after 53 years of happy marriage, leaving behind Brian and their three children, Mark, 54, Simon, 51 and Colette, 45.
Twice-wed Jean’s first marriage brought her five children – Peter, 60, Danny, 54, Graeme, 56 and Rowan, 51. Sadly son Terry died aged 51.
In 1972 she married Lister Stuttard – who died in 2014 – and added stepdaughter Jane, 51, to her family.
Now between them Brian and Jean have 22 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and they say their love has been given a new lease of life.
Jean explained: “When Lister died I was feeling a bit lonely so I gave Brian my number.
“We met up a few days later for a drink.
“We talked for more than four hours and we’ve been together ever since.
“I think we both knew straightaway it was going to be more than friendship. We’ve spent every day together since we found each other again.”
The doting couple have enjoyed three holidays to Blackpool and a week in Torquay and have booked a honeymoon for next month in Turkey.
Brian has even moved in with Jean, adding: “I put my house up for sale and moved in this March.
“Then one day recently I just said to Jean: ‘All I want is to marry you’. Thankfully she said ‘yes’!” Jean said they are already starting to think about other holidays once the wedding and honeymoon are out of the way.
She added: “I’ve found my dress – it’s not bridal white but it is very nice. I’ve also told Brian to buy a new suit.”
The big day, on September 30, will be held at Burnley Register Office with 60 guests.
‘We both knew it would be more than friendship’
JEAN STUTTARD, 81, and Brian Livesey, 79, first dated each other 60 years ago. Last year they met again by chance in a bus station and are now to marry. A wonderfully happy ending and proof that – as the Supremes sang – you can’t hurry love.
The happy couple today and, from top: Brian aged 39 in 1977; Jean on stage in 1986; and a 17-year-old Jean in 1953