TEENAGE sweethearts who rekindled their love after more than four decades apart have been named as a town's most romantic couple.

Alan Bowes and Mary Riley, of Rushmoor, Spennymoor, met when they were teenagers in the 1960s, but after three years courting they went their separate ways.

Each married different people and started families, but when their relationships broke down Mary made contact with Alan and they got together again.

The couple, both 60, shared their story with staff and customers at Asda supermarket, in the town, which awarded them top prize in a Valentine's competition.

Mary said: "For all we are completely different people to when we were 16 there was still some of the old attraction there for us both.

"So 42 years later my first love became my last. We have 42 years to make up for but we hope we have quite a few years ahead of us and intend to enjoy every moment."