Search

Love flourishes for Andrew and Sylvia Aitken after loss of partners - thanks to a bus

Andy and Sylvia Aitken on their wedding day. Picture: Michael Lyons Photography

Andy and Sylvia Aitken on their wedding day. Picture: Michael Lyons Photography

Archant

Their story has involved heartache, loss, mutual support, and a bus that holds a special place in their hearts.

The wedding cake of Andy and Sylvia Aitken, paying tribute to the bus that helped bring them together. Picture: Michael Lyons Photography The wedding cake of Andy and Sylvia Aitken, paying tribute to the bus that helped bring them together. Picture: Michael Lyons Photography

And now Sylvia, 70, and Andy Aitken, 72, have got married, proving that love can flourish even in the midst of grief.

The couple first met in 2015 on visits to Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich, where their partners, both suffering from cancer, were receiving palliative care.

Sylvia would catch the No.8 Konectbus into the city from her home in Dereham and Andy came in from North Walsham.

Andy had been married to Carole Sheppard for 31 years and Sylvia was married to Maurice Kempin, known as Mo, for 36 years.

Andy and Sylvia Aitken cutting their wedding cake, paying tribute to the bus that helped bring them together. Picture: Michael Lyons Photography Andy and Sylvia Aitken cutting their wedding cake, paying tribute to the bus that helped bring them together. Picture: Michael Lyons Photography

Andy said: “During the quiet time after lunch, like many others have done, we separately ate our own lunch in the hospice cafe. On one occasion, Sylvia, myself and Carole’s mum were the only people there, and so we started talking about our circumstances.

“Back then, of course, we were committed to our former partners and trying help each other through that dark time.”

Carole passed away in January 2016 and Mo died in February.

Through their grief, Andy and Sylvia agreed to keep in touch and Sylvia continued taking the No.8 into Norwich to meet Andy for coffee and a chat.

Andy said: “Over time we discovered we had a lot in common and we started meeting more frequently. We looked forward more and more to being with each other and soon our friendship grew into love.”

Andy proposed on the beach at Old Hunstanton in November last year, and they got married at the Dereham Registry Office on May 5, followed by a reception at Barnham Broom. And on the day, they raised more than £800 for Priscilla Bacon Lodge in gratitude for the excellent care their former partners received there. Their wedding cake was topped with a miniature version of the bus that helped bring them together.

Andy said: “If it hadn’t been for the bus it would have been more difficult for Sylvia to get into Norwich and our lives might have taken a different direction.

“We still talk about Carole and Mo, and they are in our new lives with us and will never be forgotten, but we are now looking forwards to a new chapter in our lives one of hope, happiness and love.”

Other news

58 minutes ago

The region’s mental health trust has pledged to eradicate the use of out of area beds by 2021.

14:51

The owner of a post office targeted by ram raiders said his business has taken a “severe blow” but things are getting back to normal.

13:17

Police are appealing for help from the public to trace a Norwich man who is wanted.

07:42

One of the newest businesses in the centre of Dereham could close its doors for good after staff revealed that they are struggling to connect with the community.

Most Read

58 minutes ago

The region’s mental health trust has pledged to eradicate the use of out of area beds by 2021.

Read more
NHS
14:51

The owner of a post office targeted by ram raiders said his business has taken a “severe blow” but things are getting back to normal.

Read more
Norfolk police
13:17

Police are appealing for help from the public to trace a Norwich man who is wanted.

Read more
Norfolk Police
07:42

One of the newest businesses in the centre of Dereham could close its doors for good after staff revealed that they are struggling to connect with the community.

Read more
12:05

A weather warning has been issued for Norfolk and Waveney due to heavy rain which could cause flooding at the beginning of next week.

Read more
Met Office

Most Commented

58 minutes ago

The region’s mental health trust has pledged to eradicate the use of out of area beds by 2021.

Read more
NHS
14:51

The owner of a post office targeted by ram raiders said his business has taken a “severe blow” but things are getting back to normal.

Read more
Norfolk police
13:17

Police are appealing for help from the public to trace a Norwich man who is wanted.

Read more
Norfolk Police
07:42

One of the newest businesses in the centre of Dereham could close its doors for good after staff revealed that they are struggling to connect with the community.

Read more
12:05

A weather warning has been issued for Norfolk and Waveney due to heavy rain which could cause flooding at the beginning of next week.

Read more
Met Office

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 6°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter