THEY say absence makes the heart grow fonder — and one Bolton couple have proved time does too.

Robert Worthington and Bev Worsnop got divorced more than 30 years ago.

But today they will marry for the second time — thanks to their daughter, Kelly Worthington.

Ms Worsnop, aged 53, was aged only 16 when the couple celebrated their first wedding.

She: “We first met when I had a party in my house while my parents were away.

“I’d been to the Stag’s Head pub in St Helens Road beforehand and met Robert. I told him I was holding a party and he said he was going to one too. It turned out it was the same party.

“We were married at the old Bolton Registry Office in the town centre and stayed together for five years.

“I was only 16 and was pregnant, but we both felt we had been too young to get married. We wanted some freedom.”

However, when their daughter, Kelly, now aged 32, from Tonge Moor, wanted to get back in touch with her father, the couple, who live near to each other in Aldersyde Street, Great Lever, were reunited.

Ms Worsnop said: “We had a 30-year gap during which I remarried and then separated again.

“But Kelly got me and Robert back together. She’d grown up living with me, but wanted to make contact with Robert. So I left a note at his home just under two years ago, saying Kelly wanted to get in touch with him.

“Kelly is now over the moon that we are getting married again. There’s a lot of catching up for us all to do.”

Ms Worsnop asked her father, Arthur Ellis, aged 82, of Great Lever, about her marrying again. She said: “He is giving me away at the wedding.”

The couple will re-tie the knot at Mere Hall.

Ms Worsnop is keeping her wedding dress a secret from her 59-year-old husband-to-be, but their daughter Kelly will be a witness and granddaughter Lauren Richards Worthington, aged 17, is a bridesmaid.

The newlyweds will enjoy a celebration meal at the Chinese Buffet in Bolton town centre followed by a break in Blackpool, where they had their first honeymoon back in 1976.