A terminally ill man will marry his former teenage sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, after a whole community rallied round to deliver Saturday’s big day.
When Paul Williamson, who suffers from mouth and throat cancer, exchanges vows with Anne Hope, it will not just be a moving expression of the couple’s devotion to each other. It will be a shining example what can be achieved when a community is united in one cause.
In all, 20 companies have donated their services for the ceremony and it has all happened in less than two weeks following a Facebook appeal by 48-year-old Paul’s sister, Lynda Crabb.
The dream became a reality just three days ago when Rick Cressman, boss of Nailcote Hall, near Solihull, offered his venue for the wedding. He has also thrown-in the reception for 30 and breakfast.
Concert pianist Paul, learned his condition was terminal last summer, just a month after he and 48-year-old Anne, from Coventry, had announced their engagement.
They had been going out together for only three months, but had initially dated whilst they were students at Coventry School of Music. Anne said:
“We met when I was in my first year and Paul was in his second. We went out for two years. It became hard, though, to get together because Paul moved to Birmingham.”
The couple were reunited through their love of music. Anne, who had gone on to marry and have a daughter, was searching for a music teacher – and spotted Paul’s name on an internet directory.
“When I contacted him I didn’t say who I was. I didn’t want to say who it was,” she added.