Volunteers who met during Coventry's year as City of Culture will marry later this week

The couple will marry each other on August 25 Credit: Ian Oakley/Handout

Two volunteers who fell in love during Coventry's year as City of Culture will now marry.

Ian Oakley and Jayne Townley knew of each other during their time being hosts for during City of Culture events - but it wasn't until they attended a show called Circolombia together before a romance blossomed.

Now, just over one year on, they're getting married and will have their wedding blessed at the place they first met - the Assembly Festival Garden.

He said: "We just seemed to have that natural chemistry and just seemed to get on.

"We went to the Circolombia [event] and were wowed by that and just had a chat".

Despite meeting one another, the pair say interactions were brief because of the different shifts they had signed up for.

'We had that natural chemistry and just seemed to get on'

He adds: "It was only when we went on a solo shift that we started rattling away."

"It's like we've known each other for years! We've never known each other before City of Culture and everyone keeps thinking we're married," he said as Jayne agreed.

Both Ms Townley and Mr Oakley are disabled, and they said that created an instant connection between them.

"And of course the other thing, being disabled. We've both got progressive conditions so when you're doing shifts you almost start as a supporter," added Mr Oakley.

"When Jayne first started she was on her walking sticks and I realised that you can't do shifts round town so I brought her a mobility scooter, which turned into an engagement present."

Mr Oakley says the pair had arranged to meet at one of the City of Culture events but he missed their initial meet-up, so Jayne went and watched the show herself.

However, she agreed to see the show again a few days later with her now soon-to-be-husband.

Ms Townley said she was not expecting to find love, she had simply signed up to make friends. But during their shifts together they had done absolutely everything together.

The couple couldn't hold back their admiration of each other

When asked about their love for one another, Mr Oakley said: "It's just personality, her eyes, everything about her, we just seemed to have that chemistry."

Ms Townsley called her partner a "soppy bugger."

"We just seemed to click and that was it," she adds.

The couple will have a blessing at the garden on Thursday 25 August, after they officially tie the knot at Coventry's Register Office.

Coventry's year as City of Culture ended earlier this year in May and Bradford was announced as the next City of Culture for 2025.