THE chance to find true love often only happens once in a lifetime but Joan Grant has managed to find romance for a second time with her Mr Wright.

Joan, 81, and 90-year-old Ted Wright first locked eyes 15 years ago when they were on holiday as part of a retirement group set up for former WH Smith employees.

After a whirlwind romance, the pair, who live in Covingham, and were both widowed many years ago, soon discovered that they could fall in love again.

Now, the loving couple will be heading down the aisle on January 19 to tie the knot.

Joan, who retired from WH Smiths 1996 having worked in their offices at Bridge House in Farnsby Street, said she was delighted that she could finally marry her Mr Wright.

“The main reason why we wanted to get married was Ted had a stroke two years ago and I have looked after him so well that he thinks I deserve to marry him,” Joan joked.

“I didn’t think I would get married again but we got on so well together. We accept what each other does.

“We don’t give up and we enjoy our life.

“When we first met, we didn’t think it would be a relationship and then Ted started to phone me and we had our courtship over the phone. We used to talk for hours and we really enjoyed it. I eventually invited him round for New Year’s lunch and the rest is history.

"It is never too late for love.”

From racing one another on their mobility scooters to sharing a passion for dance, Joan and Ted have made dozens of friends from their former WH Smith connections over the years with many planning to attend a special reception party the day after their wedding.

Not one to stick to tradition, Ted didn’t get down on one knee to surprise Joan with a proposal but instead announced the news in front of her family - much to her amazement.

“We had been talking about getting married for a while and I kept asking him when it was going to happen,” Joan said.

“It was when we went down to Weybridge, in Surrey, to see relatives that all of a sudden Ted said to the family that we were going to get married.

“They were absolutely over the moon and everyone is so pleased for us.”

As well as swapping the traditional proposal, the couple will also be swapping a romantic honeymoon for what they describe as a ‘funnymoon’ inviting along their 50 closest friends to Hayling Island.

Ted, who worked in the WHSmith warehouse in Greenbridge Road, said: “We went to Germany one year for a holiday and there was some musicians paying music and so we started dancing.

"People thought that we were part of the show and so put money down which we didn’t expect at all.”

Instead of accepting gifts, the kind-hearted pair want their guests to donate money that can be donated to Brighter Futures.

And paying homage to their romance, Joan and Ted’s first dance will be to Second Time Around by Frank Sinatra.