It was a fleeting meeting of eyes and moment of yearning romance on a bus in Hampshire which lasted just seconds. Vernon Burton first caught a glimpse of a mystery woman on a double decker in a New Forest Waterside town in the 1980s and never saw her again. But the hidden romantic in him has resurfaced three decades later causing his heart to stir and bringing the emotions flooding back.
Now he is urging people to help him make his dream come true and track down the lady who he feels he must make contact with after all these years.
Vernon, now a great grandad aged 62, was born and bred in Hythe, Hampshire, but moved to Canada in 1977 when he was around 23 to work as a mechanic But on returning to Britain for a short holiday in 1986 the former Royal Hampshire Regiment drummer took the bus journey he will never forget.
While on the top deck of a Solent Blue Line bus travelling towards Southampton city centre he made eye contact with a woman on a bus travelling the opposite way on a late summer morning.
Vernon said: “For some reason I looked back at that other bus and saw a woman looking back at me. I came over all light-headed , my stomach felt like it had butterflies and my legs started to shake. The buses started to pull away and I just had to reach my hand out to try not to let her go. To my surprise, she did the same.
“You hear about these things happening in romantic movies - but it really did happen to me.”
Vernon said he was in a relationship at the time and had returned to Canada to continue with his life - but now he’s single again and has sent posters of himself to the bus company, now called Blue Star, in the hope of finding the lady.
Bluestar assistant marketing manager Stacey Tucker said: “We'd love to help Mr Burton track down this mystery lady.
It’s a long shot but let’s hope we can bring them together after all these years.”
The woman had long dark hair and wore a dark top and was with two young boys in school uniform.