A COUPLE who met for the first time in the ‘Brief Encounter’ tearoom at Carnforth Station just a few weeks ago are to marry.

Widower Chris Foote Wood from Darlington and widow Joan Rooke from Silverdale, in Lancashire, had their first “date” at Carnforth station in Lancashire which featured in David Lean’s iconic 1945 film Brief Encounter, starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, after making contact via on-line dating.

Former civil engineer, journalist and ex-Wear Valley Council leader Mr Foote Wood, 77, now an author and actor based in Darlington, said: “We hit it off straight away and very quickly decided we should get married as soon as possible.

“Even so, when I formally proposed to her in Darlington at the weekend, Joan was a bit taken aback but said yes almost straight away.

“The wedding date is yet to be set, but we plan to marry next month in Lancashire where most of her family live. There will be a second reception in Darlington for my friends and neighbours in this area. We will honeymoon in Budapest where there is a particularly interesting bridge I want to see.”

He added: “This will be the third marriage for both of us. We have each lost beloved life partners in recent years and will always honour their memory, but we feel the time is right for us to enjoy our remaining years as man and wife.

“This will not be a conventional marriage. Joan will keep her home in Silverdale and I will stay there part of the week, with Joan alternately staying with me at my home in Darlington. For us, this is the best of both worlds.

“Joan is nearly the same age as me, but in her younger days she was a beauty queen and a model, and it shows. I have already met several of her family and so far they all approve of us getting married.

“By an amazing coincidence, Joan’s house in Silverdale is only two doors away from where my late sister, the comedienne Victoria Wood, used to live with her then husband Geoffrey Durham and their two children and where my late wife Frances and I used to visit,” said Mr Foote Wood.

Mr Foote Wood’s wife Frances died in 2013, and Mrs Rooke’s husband Brian died 18 months ago.