The romantic red of our hot air balloon provided the perfect backdrop to a Staffordshire couple’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary.

Love was definitely in the air when Angela and Roger Parr celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a hot air balloon ride over Shropshire.

The couple first met in 1971, when they both worked as branch office clerks for the same local newspaper in Hampshire.

Angela was 18 and Roger was just 17 at the time.

“It was love at first sight for both of us but I was rather shy then and it took me a couple of months to pluck up the courage to ask her out,” said Roger. Three years later they followed Angela’s parents and moved to Staffordshire, where her father had been from originally.

They married at St Benedict’s Church in Wombourne on 5th July 1975 and went on to have three children, two daughters in their 30s and an 18-year-old son Jamie.

Jamie won two tickets for his parents’ hot air balloon flight after entering a competition in the Express and Star newspaper.

Angela and Roger were beyond delighted when he gave them the flight vouchers as a Ruby Wedding Anniversary gift.

“For years I have absolutely loved the sight of a hot air balloon in flight and the thought of actually flying in one was something we both fancied doing one day,” he added.

“We both thought the flight was magical.

“It was even better than we imagined, so smooth and so quiet, except for the odd thrust of the burners.

“Even the landing was so gentle, not a bump or a tilt. I thought it amazing how the pilot could easily adjust the height of the balloon, just hovering over trees and the like.”

Jamie even made a short film of their anniversary treat, featuring both the flight itself and the moment he surprised his mum and dad with the flight vouchers.

Roger said they had both also been very impressed with pilot Lawrie Ellis and crew.

“I found him very professional and informative. He and his crew were friendly and had a good sense of humour,” he said.

The couple, who also have three grandchildren from their eldest daughter, said they would definitely recommend a hot air balloon flight to anyone.

“We would absolutely love to do it again,” said Angela.

“We were lucky to fly on our first booking.

“Even if you are maybe considering a flight but are nervous, don’t be. The whole experience felt very safe and they wouldn’t take it up unless the weather was perfect for flying.

“It was a gentle take-off and the ride itself is so smooth and quiet within a very strong and sturdy basket, ending with a surprisingly gentle landing.

“We would definitely recommend Virgin Balloon Flights to anyone else.”