A 91-year-old man bought a £3,500 cruise holiday for himself and a stranger within minutes of meeting her in a pub.John Mason, from Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, met Vera Burrell, 90, from Sudbury, Suffolk, when she stopped for lunch on a coach trip.He said he needed a companion for his trip because he was unable to read the ship’s cabin door numbers and menus.The pair said they have become friends after the 12-night voyage in October.More on this and other stories from across the South of England
Mr Mason said he made the offer after asking to share a table with Ms Burrell at the crowded pub in Winchester.”My aim in life is to go on cruises. She said, ‘I’ve never done one’. I’m not forward but I grasped the opportunity,” he said.”She kept saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’.”Mr Mason took Ms Burrell across the road to a travel agent before she reboarded her bus to Bournemouth.He only told his four children what he had done when his bank phoned them to check the transaction.The next time he saw his travelling companion was when he opened the door of their shared cabin on the cruise ship Azura a few weeks later.Mr Mason insisted there was “no romance” involved, but he “couldn’t be more glad” about the time they shared.
Ms Burrell said she was “stunned into silence” by the offer.”Let’s face it, you don’t meet someone for 40 minutes and go on a cruise with them,” she said.She is considering Mr Mason’s proposal to go on another cruise next year.His daughter, Sue Metcalfe, said the pair had been “fantastic companions”.She said: “The mood just took him. He met someone he liked and got on with and I think that he thought, ‘Why not?’.”He’s 91, she’s 90, there’s 181 years’ experience between them. I was sure they were going to be absolutely fine.”
Source: BBC Hamp