Whaley Bridge couple who met on coach trip celebrate 25 years together

A loved-up couple from Whaley Bridge who met on a coach trip celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip down memory lane.

Simon and Joanne Jones got to relive the moment they first met on a vintage National Express coach, just like the one that brought them together 30 years ago.

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 was great to be able to spread some good news.

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She said: “It was great to be able to celebrate with National Express. There is so much bad news in the world now, it is nice to hear something positive.

“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 said: “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. “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 just 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.”

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

Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach, said: “When we heard the story of Simon and Joanne, we knew we had to do something special to help them celebrate."