Pal returns favour with best man duty

Brian Wilson with new wife Susan
Brian Wilson with new wife Susan

NEWLYED pensioner Brian Wilson waited 61 years to call in a favour from his best friend.

Mr Wilson, of Olney, tied the knot with partner Susan at All Saints Church in Emberton on Saturday with Tim Dawson by his side as his best man – a debt Mr Dawson has been waiting to repay for more than six decades.

Best man Tim and wife Sheila

Best man Tim and wife Sheila

“He jumped at the chance to do it,” said Brian, 83. “Tim and I were at college together for our first degrees in chemistry and for a further three years working for our PhDs.

“We became good friends. I was Tim and Sheila’s Best Man just over 61 years ago and they, of course, have just celebrated their diamond anniversary.”

Brian’s first wife Betty died after 56 years of marriage, but he later met Susan where he least expected to.

“I imagined that I would be a widower for the rest of my life but life has its strange twists and turns.

“To fill in my time, I became secretary of the Newport Pagnell Probus Club and we faced the problem of declining membership.

“I suggested that we should become a mixed sex club and recruit ladies when there was a long silence, but someone said, “Why not”; we put it to the membership and there was only one vote against. I jokingly said that the ladies might think that the club was a marriage bureau.

“We recruited some 20 ladies very quickly, one of whom was Susan Read. I found that we had a great deal in common and both needed companionship.

“We started going to concerts and plays together, the relationship developed and Susan and I were married on Saturday – hoist by my own petard.”