By Alex Matthews
A pair of pensioners have been on their first ever blind date – aged 100.
Arthur Moult and Florence Philips were brought together after home support staff realised they shared a milestone birthday and set them up on a date at a supermarket cafe.
But the blind date went so well it ended with Arthur serendaing Florence – and just three weeks later, she’s even met his family.
The two pensioners, who both still live independently at home, are determ
ined to carry on seeing each other despite living 11 miles apart.
Florence, who lives in Leek, Staffs, said: “All the excitement has got to me. It’s left me excited but exhausted.
“I had never been on a blind date before!
“Arthur is a wonderful man and he has a wonderful singing voice.
“He sang Ave Maria to me which I hadn’t heard since I was a teenager.
“It brought back so many memories and I thought it was so beautiful.”
Arthur, from Cheadle, Derbyshire, said: “Meeting Florence was really nice.
“She’s a lovely person to talk to and she has a great sense of humour.
“It’s nice to talk to someone the same age as me who remembers many of the things that I do.
“My wife died 25 years ago and I have lived alone since, but being with Florence is very fun.
“I had a great time at our birthday meal and I thought it would be nice to sing to her. I really enjoy singing.
“It would be lovely to keep seeing her.”
The two met for the first time at a Sainsbury’s cafe in Leek, where they enjoyed a special meal and a cake.
They are brought together by Diane Sellers, the of Moorlands Home Link, an organisation that aims to support older people and allow them to continue living independently.
She spotted that the two turned 100 on the same day and organised the meet-up.
Diane said: “It was a privilege to be a part of Arthur and Florence’s big birthdays. When I spotted that they had both been born on the same day, I couldn’t resist bringing them together. I felt like Cilla Black when they got on so well and Arthur asked if they could make a date for same time next year.
Shortly afterwards, Arthur had a family celebration to celebrate his birthday – and invited Florence along to meet his family.
When they met for a third time two days later, Arthur even had flowers and chocolates for his new companion.
Florence said: “Seeing Arthur again so soon has been great fun.
“I really liked the chocolates and the flowers – they are beautiful.
“It’s lovely that he sings to me every time – I think it’s a really sweet gesture.
“We had a laugh about how exciting it is – and how worn out it makes you feel.
“I’m exhausted. It’s just not that easy when you are 100!”
Arthur’s singing talents come from a life-long love of drama.
He began his acting career at school in Tean, Staffordshire, and spent 25 years as a member of Cheadle Amateur Dramatics Society.
Arthur said: “”I used to do lots of plays and musicals and spoken word pieces. I still do them for the nurses in the hospital when I go.”
Arthur married his wife Nora after they met in a dance hall when they were 21. She passed away 25 years ago, and their one daughter also sadly died in her 60s.
He now lives with his grandson Martin.
Arthur worked at the Thomas Bolton copper works in Froghall while pulling pints at his wife’s uncle’s pub the Rising Sun at night.
Florence met her husband Joshua when she was 19, and they married at 21, three days before he was sent to fight in the Second World War. He was away for seven years.
She worked in a mill for 62 years before it burned down, and she decided to retire.
She and Joshua had two children, and she now also has a granddaughter.
Joshua died when he was 53, and she has since lived alone.
She said: “I loved to go dancing when I was younger, so Arthur singing is really great fun.
“I don’t think getting old is much fun at all, but it’s always nice to meet new close friends.”