Childhood sweethearts who reunited after more than 30 years marry in Sudbury

Carl Bell and Julie Devenish. Photo credit: SWNS.
Carl Bell and Julie Devenish. Photo credit: SWNS.

Childhood sweethearts, who were recently reunited after more than 30 years apart, tied the knot in Sudbury over the weekend.

Julie Devenish, 52, fell in love with Carl Bell in 1983 when she was just 18, only for the pair to lose contact.

After marrying and being widowed, Ms Devenish began reminiscing and decided to contact Mr Bell via Facebook, the online social network.

The pair arranged to meet at a nearby coffee shop last year – and have not looked back since.

After a whirlwind romance, they married at Sudbury Town Hall on Saturday.

Ms Devenish, who volunteers for Care UK, said: “Carl was actually my first boyfriend. We used to go out when we were about 18.

“We had a good gang of us back then and Carl and his friends used to come down on their motorbikes, which always impressed me.

“Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be and we lost contact. He was a handsome lad and I remember thinking it was a shame our relationship didn’t last.

“But last year, I started thinking about Carl again and looked him up on Facebook. I sent him a message not expecting him to reply, but he did.

“The rest, as they say, is history. We haven’t looked back and we’re happier than ever.”

Just months after the pair met for the first time in 30 years, he moved in with her at her home in Halstead.

They then went on holiday in July of last year, when Mr Bell proposed.

Ms Devenish said: “I got my friends to meet him when we first started seeing each other.

“I wanted to make sure he was the right man for me, and he is. He’s perfect.

“When we were on holiday, he got down on one knee and said ‘will you marry me’. I couldn’t believe it.

“I do have to pinch myself most days. I can’t believe we are back together.”

Neither she or Mr Bell, who is a factory worker, ever had children, but they are excited at growing old together.

She said: “When we first met, I had butterflies again like the first time we met.

“He told me he was just waiting for his Julie.

“I really can’t wait to get married. I didn’t have a proper wedding the first time around, now we are doing it properly.

“I have a beautiful dress and we are due to arrive in vintage Rolls Royce.

“Even thinking about it makes me quite emotional.”

Mr Bell said: “I couldn’t believe it when her name popped up on Facebook. I have to pinch myself sometimes.”