Westoe Travel owners celebrate 40th wedding anniversary as they look back on decades travelling the world together

A South Shields couple who have spent their lives travelling the world together – and helping those in the town to do the same – are marking their 40th wedding anniversary on American Independence Day, if not quite in the way they had hoped.

Westoe Travel owners Joan and Graeme Brett celebrate their Ruby wedding anniversary on Sunday, July 4, reminiscing on decades of incredible holidays to the likes of Canada and America.

And it will be a double celebration for Graeme, 62, and Joan 60, who have run the popular travel agent on Westoe Road, South Shields, since January 1989.

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The pair will also be marking 16 years since moving into their current premises from the newsagents they bought on the same road.

The Bretts are making 50 years of wedded bliss

Graeme said: “I chose July 4, American Independence Day, as our wedding day so I wouldn't forget the anniversary!

“We both love to travel and explore new places, but our favourites destinations are Canada, Alaska and Florida

"Looking for bears and other wildlife in a remote part of the West Coast of Canada or Alaska is our perfect holiday and is our first preference for a holiday every year.”

So much so that Graeme has been to Canada 27 times, while Joan has visited 30 times in her role as Elite Canada Specialist with Destination Canada.

Joan and Graeme Brett during one of their many trips across the Atlantic.

Graeme, who is Premier Australian Specialist, has also visited Australia an incredible 25 times and the pair have enjoyed trips to New Zealand, Peru, The Galapagos, Vietnam and Kenya over the years.

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Joan said: “Everyone always tries to guess how we met and no one ever guesses right – we met at our local church when Graeme ran the youth club.

“We always say take every opportunity we can to travel as you never know when we will be prevented from travelling.

Joan and Graeme Brett on a trip to the Yukon in the United States.
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“This has proved so right in the last 18 months and we are both desperate to travel again."

Westoe Travel initially started out as the departure point for the Blueline Intercity coach service to London, with four departures a day.

The business quickly grew in size and in July 2005 Westoe Travel moved into its own premises at 120 Westoe Road, just seven doors away.

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Westoe Travel owners Graeme and Joan Brett have enjoyed seeing the Northern Lights on a number of occasions.

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Westoe Travel owners Graeme and Joan Brett are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary having enjoyed years of holidays around the world together.
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Graeme and Joan Brett love visiting America and have been dozens of times over the years.
Graeme and Joan Brett are looking forward to holidays abroad once travel restrictions are eased.
Graeme and Joan Brett have been helping people in South Tyneside go places for decades