Widowed pensioners to marry after finding love in lockdown

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and her fiancé Peter Bane, 88, of Stalham, who got engaged when Peter put to

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and her fiancé Peter Bane, 88, of Stalham, who got engaged when Peter put to his 'future wife' on her Christmas card. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A Norfolk couple in their 80s have found love again after their decision to move in together during lockdown led to a Christmas card proposal.

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and Peter Bane, 88, from Stalham, met nearly two decades previously as members of Stalham Baptist Church, which they attended with their late spouses Brian and Dulcie. 

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and her fiancé Peter Bane, 88, of Stalham, who got engaged when Peter put to

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and her fiancé Peter Bane, 88, of Stalham, who got engaged when Peter put to his 'future wife' on her Christmas card. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The pair then made a deeper connection after talking at a church coffee morning last year.

Ms Dickinson, who was married for 64 years, said: "When my husband died I didn't know what I was going to do with myself. The feeling of grief is terrible.

"There was something... Some kind of connection for both of us. I always feel it's a sign: I look after Peter for Dulcie and he looks after me for Brian."

After the coffee morning, Mr Bane dropped his future wife home but could not stay for coffee as he had to return home to Freida - the family tortoise. 

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and her fiancé Peter Bane, 88, of Stalham, who got engaged when Peter put to

Dorothy Dickinson, 87, and her fiancé Peter Bane, 88, of Stalham, who got engaged when Peter put to his 'future wife' on her Christmas card. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But it was the start of the couple going for lunch two to three times a week. 

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As lockdown approached Mr Bane's son David reminded them they would not be able to meet because of the restrictions, leading them, and Freida, to move in together.

Mr Bane, who has three grown-up children, David, John and Janet, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild, was married to Dulcie for 55 years. 

Peter Bane in his wedding picture with his wife Dulcie in 1958. Picture: Dorothy Dickinson and Peter

Peter Bane in his wedding picture with his wife Dulcie in 1958. Picture: Dorothy Dickinson and Peter Bane - Credit: picture: Dorothy Dickinson and Peter Bane

Dorothy Dickinson in her wedding picture with her husband Brian in 1953. Picture: Dorothy Dickinson

Dorothy Dickinson in her wedding picture with her husband Brian in 1953. Picture: Dorothy Dickinson and Peter Bane - Credit: picture: Dorothy Dickinson and Peter Bane

Ms Dickinson, 87, said: "We enjoyed each other's company, right from the start it felt right. 

"It is like we have always been together. To be married to somebody for all those years and so happy and then you meet someone else and it's exactly the same. 

"It's funny to say you're going to be married again."

The Christmas card from Peter Bane to Dorothy Dickinson, where he proposed by putting 'future wife'

The Christmas card from Peter Bane to Dorothy Dickinson, where he proposed by putting 'future wife' on the card. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The Christmas card from Peter Bane to Dorothy Dickinson, where he proposed by putting 'future wife'

The Christmas card from Peter Bane to Dorothy Dickinson, where he proposed by putting 'future wife' on the card. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

After moving to Stalham in May, Mr Bane popped the question seven months later on Christmas Day. When Mr Bane was recently in hospital, his fiancee put a reply "I will" in his get well card.

Ms Dickinson said: "On Christmas morning, Peter gave me a card. I thought 'what's the matter with him sending a wife card' and then I saw the 'future' in blue pen over the top."

She added: "I said 'is this a proposal?' and he laughed and said yes... I'm sure God put two old friends together after our sad loss of my husband and his wife."

Dorothy Dickinson's get well card to Peter Bane when he was in hospital, where she replied 'I will'

Dorothy Dickinson's get well card to Peter Bane when he was in hospital, where she replied 'I will' to his proposal which he had put in her Christmas card. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The couple continue to remember their late spouses with photographs in their home.

Mr Bane said he asked Ms Dickinson to marry him because she was kind and considerate. 

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