Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 11:50 UK

'Oldest newlyweds' delay holiday

Les Atwell and Sheila Walsh
Les Atwell and Sheila Walsh first met outside Tesco

A Devon couple thought to be one of the oldest newlyweds in the UK have had to put their honeymoon on hold after the bride became ill at the ceremony.

Les and Sheila Atwell, aged 94 and 87, were due to start a 14-day Mediterranean cruise on Friday.

But they had to cancel the trip after Mrs Atwell became dizzy at the ceremony in Paignton.

The couple who have lived together for three years, met in a blind date outside the town's Tesco.

The date was organised by a cleaner who worked for both of them.

We'll still get our honeymoon
Les Atwell

Mrs Atwell told BBC News: "We had a lovely day, but I started to come over all dizzy. I almost fainted.

"It was probably the excitement of the day."

The couple, with a combined age of 181, had been due to start a cruise taking in Barcelona, Rome and Athens.

Mr Atwell said: "We had two cases packed and ready to go.

"I'm now unpacking them.

"Something else will happen, we'll still get our honeymoon."

Former Paignton hotelier Mr Atwell married the former department store buyer at Oldway Mansion in Paignton before a lunch with friends and relatives.

'Very nice'

Mr Atwell said he accepted that meeting outside Tesco was not perhaps the most romantic spot to start a relationship, but it was a practical one.

"It's the most prominent shop in Paignton," he said.

"And it only seemed right to go back there when I asked Sheila to marry me."

Mrs Atwell said their first meeting nearly never happened.

"At first I said 'no I'm not interested', but I had second thoughts.

"When we met I thought he was very nice and a few months later he moved in."

The world record is held by French couple Francois Frenandez, then 96, and Madeleine Francineau, then 94, who married in 2002.



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SEE ALSO
Pair are UK's 'oldest newlyweds'
28 Nov 08 |  Devon
Wedding bells for couple aged 178
14 Feb 08 |  West Midlands
Bride, 90, and groom, 96, marry
25 Jun 05 |  Berkshire

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