Childhoos sweethearts to wed

AS the saying goes, the best things in life are worth waiting for.That could not be more true for childhood sweethearts Gavin Smith and Sandy Gould who married today – nearly 40 years after they lost touch.

By Amanda Cresswell

AS the saying goes, the best things in life are worth waiting for.

That could not be more true for childhood sweethearts Gavin Smith and Sandy Gould who married today - nearly 40 years after they lost touch.

After an innocent childhood kiss in a cornfield at the age of 12, the pair lost contact.

But a series of coincidences meant their paths crossed again, and the pair are due to tie the knot at Ipswich Registry Office.

The couple first met at Bosmere Primary School in Needham Market, when they were just five years old. They lived round the corner from one another, Sandy in Crowley Road and Gavin in Priestly Road.

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Sandy said: "We were very close. We used to walk to school together. He used to have bonfires on November 5 at his house and I always used to get invited."

The pair lost touch at Needham Market Modern School.

Sandy said: "When we were 12 we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I kissed him in the cornfield and he asked: "are you pregnant?" and I said: "yes".

"He then ran away for 40 years.

"The reason why I did not see him much after that is because I used to play truant. I was naughty and did not go to school very often.

"When I was 14 I left school and went into hairdressing. Gavin went his way and I went my way, but we both lived in Needham Market."

But Gavin never left her thoughts and at the age of 18 years she walked down his street to find him.

She said: "He was parking his bike up and I walked up the road, hoping to get him back. He said he had a girlfriend who he was going to marry.

"So I left him alone and got on with my life, but I was very hurt. There was something missing. This emptiness.

"I did not know what it was at the time. But I do now, it was Gavin."

In their years apart Gavin married and had three children, then divorced. Sandy married and divorced twice and had four children.

It was when they were single they met again. This time aged 51.

Sandy said: "It was by coincidence we met on the street. I did not know his marriage broke up. I was in a bit of a hurry at the time and had to go.

"Then a week later it was Sunday and there was five-aside football. The night before I was on my own and prayed for him to come back.

"Something told me to go to the football field and he was there. The funny thing is Gavin doesn't even like football.

"We chatted and by coincidence the next day I was on the bus going to Ipswich and he got on. I asked him to sit next to me.

"He asked if he could get off the bus where I did and I said of course you can. We chatted and I said I was moving to Ipswich and asked if he would like to see me."

They arranged to meet again.

Sandy said: "I put a note through his door for him to phone me and because I would be late. I got back home and he had already phoned and left message but had not left his number.

"I pressed 1471 and got through to him. I said I'll cook a meal and he said I'll come up in three seconds.

"We stayed together ever since. I invited him to my house and haven't let him go. I haven't got this emptiness any more.

"I said I am not losing you for another 40 years and he stayed."

Sandy's two identical twin daughters, Kimberley and Rebecca, 20, will be bridesmaids and for the first time Sandy will marry in white.

The pair, of Rosebery Road, Ipswich, have matching wedding rings, which have been specially made and engraved with each other's name.

Their dream wedding will be followed by a reception at The Hogshead in Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich.

Sandy said of the landlords: "The made us so welcome there and we would like to thank them both."

Praising Gavin she said: "What I love about Gavin is his cheeky smile. We can communicate with each other and we laugh so much. He gets me crying with laughter. He is a wonderful man, beautiful. I am so proud he is my husband.

"I love him and always have. He was my one and only true love. The big shame between us is that we can't have children together."

Gavin, who works for ICI, said of Sandy: "She has a heart of gold. I love her so much and always have. They say there is no flame like an old flame and it is true."

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