old people hands
Ray Seal and Rose James plan to marry in Market Harborough in MayGetty Images

A couple in their 90s are to marry in May after losing touch 77 years ago during the Second World War. Ray Seal, 92, flew in to Manchester airport last week to see Rose James, 91.

The two first met at school in Thurcaston in Leicestershire in 1935. Rose told the Border Counties Advertiser: "In April I met his sister in town and she said Ray sounded sad and down. I said perhaps a letter from me will cheer him up. It was a very casual letter. I didn't expect a reply and I thought he wouldn't even remember me – but apparently he did."

Ray attempted to propose a number of times by letter and over the phone but Rose kept rejecting him until he visited in October and she changed her mind.

"Rose was a very pretty young girl and not much as changed. A lot of people have said I was brave to come over here, but I don't think of it like that," said Ray.

"I hope I'm worth it!" said Rose. The couple will marry in Market Harborough in Leicestershire on 7 May.