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Last Seat on Flight Leads to Love Ever After

Vickie Moretz had never left the southern United States, let alone traveled abroad. The prospect of flying across the Atlantic was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.

Graham and Vickie Kidner
Serendipity leads to 40 year marriage | Credit: The Kidner Family

It was February 1982. Vickie was 22, a recent graduate from the University of Tennessee, en route to London to participate in a work study program. She was traveling with one of her best friends, Sandra.

When they reached Washington DC, their standby tickets meant they only just snuck on the flight to London, nabbing the last two seats. They found themselves sitting next to Graham Kidner, also 22 and from northern England, who had been travelling around the US for the last 6 weeks.

They all got on really well during the flight and when they got to London, Graham helped them get into town from the airport and took them to their hotel, where the girls were to spend the next 3 months on their work study programme.

Graham had to then take the train north to get home but promised to come back at the weekend and show them around London.

Back home in Lancashire, Graham called up a university friend of his who lived in London - Jim - and passed on Vickie and Sandra’s details, suggesting Jim look them up.

“He arranged to meet up with them and took them out for a drink. And I immediately got my train ticket to come back down that next weekend,” says Graham. “So that was the plan. And there was no doubt I was going to do it.”

The next Saturday, as promised, Graham arrived back in London, and he and Jim took Vickie and Sandra on a sightseeing day. In the afternoon, the group headed to Portobello Road, home to one of the world’s most famous street markets and riding the escalator to exit the London Underground station at Nottinghill, Vickie and Graham found themselves standing side by side. Sandra and Jim were lower down, amid crowds of tourists and locals.

Out of nowhere, a woman standing on the step in front of Vickie and Graham turned around to survey them both. They didn’t notice her at first, both preoccupied with one another. Then she spoke: “You’re both Scorpios,” she said. It was more of a statement than a question.

Graham and Vickie today
Graham and Vickie today

“Yes, ma’am, I am,” said Vickie, surprised. She didn’t know Graham’s birthday, let alone his star sign, but she turned to look at him expectantly. Graham said yes, he was also a Scorpio.

The stranger smiled, like this confirmed everything she already knew. “You will make great love and will always be together,” she said, and then turned back around to disembark the escalator.

She was right. “By the end of that evening, we were holding hands,” says Vickie today. “That was March 6. And then we were engaged July 4, and married December 28.”

40 years later they are still married and living in the US, with two children.



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