A devoted couple’s ashes have been scattered off the seaside pier where they first met – 57 years ago.
The remains of John and Myfanwy Walker were sprinkled off the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, where he was working on the dodgems when they met in 1953.
They married a year later and went on to raise two children before retiring to the seaside resort to live out their final days.
John died in March this year at the age of 76, after which Myfanwy quickly deteriorated and passed away in June at the age of 79.
Their daughters Claire Walker, 55, and Diane Clouston, 51, were granted special permission by the owners of the pier to carry out the scattering ceremony.
Nurse Diane, who travelled from her home in Germany for the event, said: ”When my father died my mum didn’t know what to do with the ashes.
”We sat down and we thought, ‘He really enjoyed working on the pier and they appreciated dad’s work, they really praised him for it and loved him.’
”We thought it would be fitting for dad’s remainders to be scattered over the pier that he loved so much.”
The couple met on the pier during one of Myfanwy’s many visits to the attraction, when John was helping out on the big wheel.
John, who had signed up with the Army, had to get special permission to marry Myfanwy in 1954 as he was only 20 years old – the age of consent at the time was officially 21.
He was stationed in Tripoli, Libya, on the north coast of Africa and so the couple left Weston-super-Mare to move there.
After Myfanwy gave birth to their two daughters the family attempted to move back to Weston in 1958 but work was difficult to find and John ended up re-enlisting with the Army.
The family was moved to Germany for 22 years and then returned to Myfanwy’s native Wales.
Finally, in 1997, they returned to Weston to retire. The couple enjoyed daily walks on the pier until Myfanwy became ill and could no longer walk.
John passed away on March 20th this year aged 76 and Myfanwy died suddenly on June 17th, aged 79.
Their daughter Claire, a supermarket worker from Portland, Dorset, said the pier will always be a special place for the family.
She said: ”The pier and Weston means a lot to us because it’s where they met and we always used to go back to visit with our nan.
”Dad died on March on the 20th and because mum couldn’t walk she had to go into a home.
”We asked her what she wanted to do with his ashes and she said she’d like to scatter them off the pier because of their connection to it.
”We got permission for her to go on the pier with his ashes but unfortunately she died on the 17th of June.
”My sister and I thought we’d like to scatter the two of them together, so that they could be together again.
”It was a fitting end to a romantic beginning.”
The Grand Pier was gutted by fire two years and is due to re-open next month after being rebuilt by owners Kerry and Michelle Michael.
Claire and Diane had to wear construction hardhats and work boots to perform the scattering on July 1st.
Grand Pier Operations Manager Mark Johnson said: ”We were very happy to let the daughters of Mr and Mrs Walker onto the Pier to scatter their parents ashes.
”As Mr Walker worked on the dodgems on the Pier and that is where the couple met, it seemed very fitting they should end their days together here.”