Next stop marriage for lovebirds who rekindled romance at bus station

Jean Stuttard and Brian Livesey
Jean Stuttard and Brian Livesey

A love-struck couple are preparing to tie the knot – 60 years after their first date.

Eighty-one-year-old Jean Stuttard and her younger man Brian Livesey (79) found love, and each other, in Nelson Bus Station last year, six decades after first meeting while working at Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick.

The pair, who were both widowed in recent years, met by chance when Brian was getting off the number 95 bus in Nelson and immediately remembered his first sweetheart from all those years ago.

A smitten Jean, from Williams Place, Nelson, explained: “I was getting on the bus when Brian asked ‘is that Jean Slater?’, which was my maiden name.

“I asked him how on earth he recognised me, and he said by my eyes, which I thought was very sweet. We’d had a few dates back in 1957 but we both went on to have long marriages.

“My husband of 44 years, Lister, had died in 2014 and I was feeling a bit lonely so I gave Brian my number and we met up a few days later for a drink in Colne.

“In fact, Brian struggled to get up the hill and was a bit out of puff, as he’d had a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, but we had a great night. We talked for more than four hours, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Brian, of Brierfield, lost his wife of 53 years Ann a year before, and admits he never thought he would marry again.

Indeed, the couple’s honeymoon, a holiday in Turkey with Jean’s son Peter Slater, was planned before the wedding.

Between them, the couple have seven children, 22 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren who are all delighted the pair have found love again.

Brian said: “I put my house up for sale and moved in with Jean this March.

“Then one day recently I just said to Jean all I want is to sell my house and marry you. Thankfully she said yes. We had already booked the holiday for October so we will make that our honeymoon.”

Great-grandmother Jean 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 Saturday, September 30th, will be held at Burnley Register Office followed by a reception at the ACE Centre, Nelson.

There will be no best man or bridesmaids this time around, but Brian’s friend of 69 years, Peter Nicholas, will be a witness alongside Jean’s son Peter.