You often hear that long distance relationships are doomed to fall apart. Ted Jewitt probably heard the same, but he was already in love up to his ears. And that’s the kind of thing that messes with your hearing.
For three years, Jewitt cycled 174 miles every fortnight, from Cumbria to Greater Manchester, to see the girl of his dreams: Joyce Nuttall. It was the 1940’s, and road signs had been removed to confuse any invading Nazis. But Jewitt’s compass was inassailable. A total of thirteen thousand miles travelled won him sixty-five years of a happy marriage, three kids and eight grandkids.
Daughter Carole Leech relates the touching love story:
“He would cycle down on the Friday, sleep on the settee at Joyce’s and then cycle back on Sunday."
“Joyce’s family were religious and they would not let him marry Joyce until she was 21."
“They got married four days after her birthday in 1949.”
A love affair that war and distance couldn’t alter finally ended last December, when Nuttall passed away. Ted died just three weeks later. Both were 86 years old.
“We think he probably died from a broken heart. He just could not live without mum.”
But their legacy lives on, literally and figuratively. Some of their grandchildren are paying tribute to Jewitt’s unwavering devotion by biking the path from Salford to Ulverston that Jewitt covered fortnight for three years.
The road trip will raise £3,000 for St Mary’s Hospice, where their grandmother was cared for up until her death.
“We chose the bike ride and my father wanted to take part himself, and was going to do the last stretch, but sadly he didn’t live long enough to take part.