Love blossoms after 40 years

Childhood sweethearts Cindy and Noel reunited by 'quirk of fate'

Cindy and Noel will tie the knot at their Ballycastle home this weekend
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Wednesday 29 June 2022 14:13

THIS Saturday two teenage sweethearts, who found each other again after 40 years, will tie the knot surrounded by family and friends, in the back garden of their home in Ballycastle.
Noel Craig and Cindy Anderson initially dated when they were 17 and 15 respectively, and were each other’s first love.
Each went on to make their own way in life, Noel with a career in engineering and teaching which saw him work widely across several continents.
Whilst Cindy commenced a successful career in nursing. Both married, each had a son and later got divorced.
Cindy’s son, Greg, will be giving her away on Saturday, while Noel’s son, Seamus, will be best man on the day.
Then, by a complete quirk of fate, they found themselves in Ballymoney Tesco during the Covid-19 pandemic on July 4th 2020- neither of them should have been there at that time on that day.
Taking up the story, Cindy said: “Whilst standing at the checkout, for an unknown reason, I looked up the aisle behind my checkout position and saw the shoulders of a man, and thought, ‘it couldn’t be'.
“I looked away and a few moments later, looked back up the aisle again and it was him.”
“I recognised the distinctive shoulders and thought ‘it is Noel’.”
“Our eyes then met, and the next thing I remember is being in the biggest bear hug at the checkout.
“We spent the next two and a half hours sitting in the chairs behind the tills talking.”
Subsequently Cindy and Noel kept in touch by text and had a series of Saturday lunch dates which became longer as the weeks went on.
As time progressed, they fell in love again and when Noel proposed, Cindy was very happy to accept.
Noel used his N.I. Spend Local card towards the cost of Cindy’s ring as he wanted to spend it on something he’d never forget.
The past six months has seen a busy time of wedding preparation and as the date comes closer, they look forward to celebrating their love in a fitting way for a now mature couple.
Following the ceremony, they will be taking a vintage coach “Mystery Tour” around the North Coast with their guests, stopping off at the Fullerton arms in Ballintoy where they spent many a happy Saturday lunchtime, and will finally end their day at The Bushmills Inn.
Speaking together, Cindy and Noel said: “Many people have asked us to share our story. It inspires those who have not found love, makes many smile and some cry with joy.
“When most couples our age may be set in their ways and love has lost its lustre, we’re just starting our lives as a couple.
“Fate created the circumstances for us to meet and let our love rekindle and blossom after forty years.
“We are happy to share our love story with you and hope that our happiness makes you smile.”

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