Wedding bells ringing for Crawley couple who met on singles holiday

George Carter and Elaine who are getting married after meeting atThe Group singles club network - picture submitted
George Carter and Elaine who are getting married after meeting atThe Group singles club network - picture submitted

A couple who found love through a friendship group and will be getting married next month.

George Carter from Crawley met Elaine Bass at The Group - an over fifties singles network with four branches across Sussex. It is not set up as a dating agency, but simply a place to find friendship.

Elaine, 69, was based at the Haywards Heath branch, which now meets in Burgess Hill while George, 72, went to the Horsham branch. They will be making their home together in Southgate, where George lives.

Their paths crossed four years ago at one of the many social outings by the groups - a group holiday to Scotland.

Elaine said: “We both, separately, found the prospect of joining quite daunting but, encouraged by friends, we did so.

“Our experiences are remarkably similar in that, after we had been along once, going back a second time was much easier. The club nights are very relaxed and new members are made welcome.

“The Group’s diary is on display at all venues and covers a wide range of activities to take up as you please; the diary is e-mailed out every month to members with updates as and when they arise.”

Retired aircraft loading supervisor at Gatwick George lives in Crawley, where they will make their marital home.

The rest of The Group branch members are looking forward to their wedding at the end of July.

The Group started in Haywards Heath in 2006 as a friendship club for single people aged 50 and over.

It has grown to be a club of 400 members spread across four branches - Horsham, Brighton, Burgess Hill and Lewes. It celebrated its tenth birthday in Brighton last weekend.

The Group branches offer an opportunity for people to meet others, to enjoy interests together - dinners, walks, sports events, theatre trips, holidays abroad.

Elaine recommended it to others. She said: “George and I really thought it might be a ‘meat market’ but not so.

“I would encourage single people to go along to one or more of the club nights and get a taste of the friendliness of the members, all of whom are in the same or similar situations.”

For more information about the Group go to