Love works in mysterious ways - a chance photo turns into a marriage proposal for a March couple

What a difference a year makes. Les and Val Powell at the annual garden open day event where they me

What a difference a year makes. Les and Val Powell at the annual garden open day event where they met a year ago - Credit: Archant

Cambs Times photographer Steve Williams unwittingly played cupid when he asked two strangers to pose for a photo – only to discover a year later that love blossomed and they got married.

Flashback to a year ago. Les and Val Powell are asked to stand together for a photograph for our new

Flashback to a year ago. Les and Val Powell are asked to stand together for a photograph for our newspaper - Credit: Archant

Our photographer was covering an annual open garden event in Henson Road, March, when he invited the couple to pose for a photograph.

On Saturday, attending the same event a year on, Mr Williams encountered the same couple – but this time as newlyweds.

“The photographer literally shoved us together, it took some cajoling by everybody as we didn’t know each other,” said Val Powell.

Her husband Les, 73 said: “We hit it off straight away and we now do everything together, go for rides out, lunch together, holidays. I feel lucky that we found love again when we least expected it.”

Maria and Nielsen-Bom, Garden open day, where Les and Val Powell met.

Maria and Nielsen-Bom, Garden open day, where Les and Val Powell met. - Credit: Archant


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Les and Val tied the knot nine months after meeting when they agreed that at their age there was no point hanging around.

Val, 74, said: “After the photo Les plucked up the courage to ask me out on a date and we haven’t looked back.

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“It has changed our lives. I can’t believe that forcing us to stand in a photograph for the newspaper has meant we have both gone from single and feeling a bit lonely to now enjoying life as a couple. It’s unbelievable really.”

Les was helping to serve tea and cakes at the open garden event at the home of Paul and Maria Nielsen Bom in Henson Road last year and Val had gone to visit when the chance photo opportunity arose.

Les, 73 said: “We both love gardening so for our first date it seemed a perfect choice to choose Worzels garden centre at Wisbech where we went and enjoyed a meal together. We haven’t looked back.”

Val had been a widow for ten years while Les had been a widower for three years. Neither of them expected to date again, least of all find a marriage partner.

Between them they now have eight children, 32 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren living across the country.

“It can be lonely by yourself, you get used to it, but life is more fun as a couple,” Les said.

Steve said: “It’s definitely a first for me. I simply asked them to stand together for a photograph – I grabbed the nearest couple and took the photo. I was delighted and amazed to find a year later that it led to romance and a wedding. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

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