Whaley Bridge couple who met on National Express coach celebrate 25th wedding anniversary

Simon and Joanne Jones.
Simon and Joanne Jones.

A loved-up couple who met on a National Express coach 30 years ago are celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip down memory lane.

Meet Simon and Joanne Jones from Whaley Bridge – who first met on a National Express coach as strangers and who are now celebrating 25 years of marriage and two children.

The couple met on a coach 30 years ago, when Simon sat next to Joanne.

The couple met on a coach 30 years ago, when Simon sat next to Joanne.

National Express offered the couple a trip down memory lane on a vintage coach to relive the day they met.

Having endured the stress of being evacuated from their home of 25 years in August due to the collapse of the Whaley Bridge dam, Joanne said: “It is great to be able to spread some good news. It was great to be able to celebrate with National Express. We have been married 25 years this year and have National Express and the M1 to thank for that.”

The couple met when Joanne was travelling from Manchester down to her home town of Crawley and Simon, who was on his way to Gatwick Airport for a holiday to Magaluf, took the empty seat next to her at the back of the coach.

Joanne continued: “I remember he was listening to Madonna on his Walkman. It was very loud. The driver made an announcement about a delay and Simon took his headphones off to ask what he had said. We talked the rest of the way to London and exchanged addresses when we got to Victoria.

Simon and Joanne have been married for 25 years.

Simon and Joanne have been married for 25 years.

“That week I received a postcard from Simon from Magaluf which I still have to this day. A month later we went on our first date and the rest is history.”

The pair, who met when they were 25 and 26 years old, were in a long-distance relationship for two years and made their relationship work thanks to weekly visits using National Express.

Simon said: “We are proof that long-distance relationships really can work. We got married five years later and now have two grown-up children that we are very proud of. Sara is 24 and working in China and Ben is in his final year at drama school.”

Joanne added: “For years people have told us that we should share our story. I finally got round to it 30 years after it started.”

The couple went on to have two children, Sara and Ben.

The couple went on to have two children, Sara and Ben.

Chris Hardy, Managing Director of National Express UK Coach, said: “With 1,800 services each day linking more than 540 locations, we're all about connecting people.

"When we heard the story of how we brought Simon and Joanne together all those years ago, we knew we had to do something special to help them celebrate."