IT’S a romantic tale worthy of a heart pounding Mills & Boon novel - a girl and her beloved kept apart by her strict family until love wins the day and the pair, defying all, elope. To Glasgow.
Fast forward five decades and the loved up couple from Solihull are celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss with their three children and five grandchildren.
Brian and Eileen Curley from Albany Gardens were 22 and 17-years -old respectively when they met at an Irish dance in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in 1961.
She came from a strict Irish Catholic family and Brian from Birmingham, delivered the equipment needed for the dances. He had also been engaged previously.
“My parents did not approve,” said Eileen, now 68.
“My mum even handed my notice in at my job to stop Brian from contacting me.
“One night we went to the dance and I thought that’s it. I never went home.”
Brian, who is 72, added: “I had thought about it for a while and my mum packed a suitcase for me but Eileen had nothing.
“We took a train to Scotland because we had heard you could get married there at 16 without your parents’ permission.
“We said to the ticket man at the station - anywhere up north!”
Thankfully Eileen’s parents eventually accepted the union and the couple will be marking their 50 years together with a family meal today followed by a long holiday to Spain.