We recently had a special balloon flight with passengers Ron and Joan Barnby celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Fifty years together is an amazing achievement and what a brilliant way to celebrate, up in the air.

After meeting through work, the couple married in 1963 and out of 50 years of married life, the pair have been lucky enough to have spent the last 17 years retired together and enjoying life. As they are both very active and love doing things together, their son and daughter knew that a hot air balloon ride would be the perfect gift for their anniversary.

The couple live in Darlington in their house by the River Tees where they have lived for all their married life. Their flight launched not far from there, from Witton Castle, County Durham. The balloon took them over many familiar sites including their daughter's house and Sedgefield racecourse. They both agreed that their favourite part of the flight was take off.

"As we rose there was a wonderful shadow cast by the sun which we could see on the ground. When you looked down the shadow showed everyone’s head peeping out as the balloon moved across the landscape. We also loved the champagne at the end – a champagne toast in a field was something we’d never done before! It was lovely and fresh."

Ron added:

"The pilot, Chris Oxby and his crew were marvellous. The ground crew were there to pick us up as soon as we landed. Chris was so pleasant and very informative. Throughout the flight we asked loads of questions about the altitude, the temperature and where we were flying over - he knew all the answers. The whole team are very skilful people. They were also so safety conscious which made us feel at ease. They truly did a first class job."

When we asked if they would do another balloon flight, they both said:

"We’d definitely do it again! There were opportunities for us to fly over Harrogate which would be nice, but I think I’d still do another one local to us. Our daughter and her husband watched us take off and they were thrilled, jumping up and down and clapping as they saw her rise so they would love to do one too!"

As well as their magical balloon experience, Ron and Joan celebrated their golden anniversary at the Kearton Country Hotel, Swaledale – the same place they had their silver wedding anniversary. It was a rare occasion where their whole family joined together to congratulate the couple on their anniversary. What a perfect way to celebrate such a special occasion! We’d like to wish you many more years of happiness together.

If you’ve got a special occasion to celebrate or want to give someone that perfect gift, book a balloon flight now for as little as £169 pp. Simply visit our website or call our office on 01952 212750.