Elderly couple reveal key to a happy relationship as Valentine's Day approaches
PUBLISHED: 16:56 11 February 2019
They were brought together by a love of nature at one of Norfolk's most attractive beauty spots.
And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, 11 years after they first met at Pensthorpe Natural Park, love birds Thelma Brown, 82, and Keith Dowling, 77, from Fakenham, are still going strong and have credited being outdoors as the secret to a happy relationship.
The elderly couple met when Mrs Brown was enjoying a moment of reflection after the loss of her late husband and bumped into Keith who was visiting from Northampton after watching the reserve on BBC Springwatch.
Mr Dowling said: “We were both on our own and I spotted Thelma on the stone bridge overlooking the water. I asked her to join me for a cup of tea and she said yes.
“I was so happy to have met such a lovely lady and in time moved to Norfolk where we now live happily together 11 years after our first meeting.”
Mrs Brown said: “Being around nature and wildlife transports you and takes your mind off your troubles. We can lose ourselves at Pensthorpe, it’s a different world.
“We have such fond memories of spending time here and we make weekly visits to watch the birds or have Sunday lunch.”
Mr Dowling added: “If you’re feeling down in the dumps get outside in the fresh air.
“It’s so good for you and we’re proof that you never know who you might meet.”
Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park said: “It’s a real pleasure to find out that people not only enjoy spending time at the reserve, but find our quiet little corner of Norfolk a special place that marks a major moment in their lives.
“We are thrilled to hear that we are able to facilitate such joy and are delighted that Thelma and Keith are still so incredibly happy together over a decade after meeting here.”