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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 16:05 GMT
Man, 93, to wed his betrothed, 84
James Mason and Peggy Clark: Picture South West News Service
The "old fashioned" couple said they could not live in sin

A couple are preparing to become one of the UK's oldest newly-weds after a whirlwind romance.

James Mason, who is 93, is marrying the girl of his dreams, Peggy Clark, who is 84, at a mansion in Devon.

James, a former Torbay Mayor, said he was hit by "a bolt from the blue" when he met Mrs Clark and popped the question three days later.

The couple, who met at a Paignton day centre, are keeping their honeymoon plans a secret.

Peggy, who was widowed in 1982, said it was love at first sight for her too, although she feared she may have ruined her chances when she first spoke to him.

"I said to him 'do you come here often'," she told BBC News.

We're a bit old fashioned and we didn't want to be living in sin
James Mason

"I thought 'you silly old woman, I don't believe you've said that', but he just laughed out loud and told me he'd opened the day centre."

Mrs Clark said her life changed the moment she met her "beau" - on 7 October at 1210 GMT "exactly".

"When I told him I was lonely and there was nowhere for me to go, he patted my arm and told me I didn't need to be lonely any more," she said.

"The moment I saw his lovely twinkling eyes, I knew he was the one - those eyes told me everything."

James Mason and Peggy Clark: Picture South West News Service
James keeps pinching Peggy to reassure her she is not dreaming

Mr Mason confirms his family thinks his bride-to-be is "beautiful".

"They're so happy for me and my son will be my best man on Monday," said.

"I'm not a womaniser, but when I looked across the table at her it was absolutely love at first sight and I knew that was it."

He has been a widower for 10 years and said marriage was the obvious solution for them both.

Hotel reception

"We're a bit old fashioned and we didn't want to be living in sin," he said.

The couple will marry on Monday at Paignton's Oldway Mansion, before holding a reception for family and friends at the Palace Hotel.

"I'm getting a little bit nervous, but I can't wait," Peggy said.

"I keep asking James to pinch me because I think I must be dreaming.

"This kind of think only happens once in a million years and he's promised me he won't ever leave me."



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