Couple whose eyes met at South Shields bus stop celebrate 50 years of marriage
A golden couple who first set eyes on each other at a South Tyneside bus stop are celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss today.
Joan and Derek Johnson met at the bus stop in Whiteleas, South Shields, back in 1964.
Joan used to wave at Derek as he passed to visit one of his grandparents and their relationship blossomed from there.
They had their first date at the Crown Dance Hall in Ocean Road and were engaged in 1965 before marrying 50 years ago today at All Saints Parish Church, in Boldon Lane.
Joan worked as a cashier at Red Stamp Stores on Mile End Road, while Derek worked in the South Tyneside shipyards.
The couple, who are both now 70 and live in The Lonnen area of South Shields, went on to have two children David, 49, and Gillian, 45, and are now grandparents to Ryan, 21, and Ruby, six, as well as step grandparents to Rebecca, 13.
Joan said: “The secret to our long married life is enjoying each other’s company, making each other laugh, being honest and loving.”
Paying tribute to her mum and dad, Gillian said: “My parents are still very young at heart.
“They are very outgoing people and love nothing more than getting dressed up and going out for a few drinks and love a good party.”
Family and friends will be celebrating the anniversary at a part tonight at The Dunes.
Gillian added: “I’m not just saying this because they are my mam and dad but they are loving parents, and grandparents who have been amazing.
“They have a great sense of humour too.
“Plenty of people are coming to see them at their party and I’m sure they’ll have a great night.”