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Monday, 22 February 2016


A real-life 'Forever Young' story crept into the pages of The Times newspaper this weekend.  Tucked away in the Marriages and Engagements register at the back of the paper was a photograph of 75-year-old Penelope Roy and John Fryer, 77 who married in Surrey, England, earlier this month.

Nothing unusual about that, you may say, except that they first fell in love more than 50 years ago  when  students at the London School of Economics.  John was in a long-term relationship back then, and though they enjoyed each other's company as friends, they split up without ever admitting their feelings for each other.

Penelope was 73 when she typed  John's name into an online search engine. A newspaper story about a high-profile court case in Canada where John was the  expert witness, enabled her to track him down.  John was then a scholar-in-residence at the University of Victoria Law School in British Columbia.

'It all came flooding back,' he told the paper. 'It was a feeling that 50 plus years had just disappeared.'
After talking on the telephone long FaceTime sessions, described by Penelope as 'very intense,' soon followed.

In June 2014 John met Penny at St Pancras Railway Station and they  lunched at the National Portrait Gallery. 'People don't realise the strength of shared experience in your youth,' she explains. The following month she visited John in Canada.

Reminiscent of the 1992 film Forever Young with Isobel Glasser and Mel Gibson this, says Penny, is 'a bittersweet story with regrets over missed opportunities taken over by the joy of being together.'

Adds John :'I feel very privileged. Most of us don't get a second chance.'

NB If you would like to be featured in the Times, you can email

John and Penelope on their wedding day and in the early 1960s


Elaineyross said...

Ahh that's a really heartwarming story Marilyn, with a magical ending, or is that a beginning?. Lovely! X

Guernsey Girl said...

The end of the beginning I think, Elaine. But then I always did like happy endings....

Barbara Fisher said...

I think they were very brave to get back together after so many years. Lovely story, thank you for sharing it. xx

Guernsey Girl said...

Strange, Barbara, but I actually thought that myself! It takes a lot of courage to pick up where you left off all those years ago. Great to hear from you.