It’s love on the buses for eight Sunderland couples.
June and Dave Glasper and Ian Alderson and Christine Hutchinson are two of the happy partnerships who all work at Stagecoach North East’s Sunderland depot – a place where love is well and truly in the air.
The couples work at the Wheatsheaf depot meaning that while most will be separated from their loved ones this Valentine’s Day, they will spend it together, like every other working day
June, 54, is receptionist at the depot and husband Dave, 57, has been a bus driver for 14 years.
They have been married for 36 years and have a son.
The pair met at a Sunderland nightspot and it was love at first sight.
Although June joined Stagecoach in June 2009, she worked on the buses while she was courting her husband between 1970 and 1974, before leaving to look after their son.
June said: “We met as teenagers and have been together ever since. By working together we can see a bit more of each other.
“Working with your husband might not be for everyone but we like it and it’s nice when Dave comes along to say hello when he’s on a break.
“There are lots of couples working here at the depot, which proves what a family-orientated work environment we have and the sense of community there is here.
“I didn’t expect to be back on the buses after a 35-year break, but when Dave told me about the receptionist job I wanted to apply as I’d enjoyed it all those years ago and Dave recommended it.
“There are still lots of people that were around when I first worked here, so it’s nice to catch up with familiar faces.”
Love birds Ian and Christine have been together for three years after meeting at work.
Ian, 47, joined the company 14 years ago and is a bus driver.
His partner Christine, 46, has been driving buses for Stagecoach North East for four years.
Ian said: “We were close friends and our relationship blossomed from that.
“We don’t see a lot of each other while at work because we’re both drivers and often work different shifts.
“Some people might think it’s strange that you do the same job as your partner, but we both enjoy our job and it’s great to have someone who understands what you do.”
Geoff Reed, operations manager at the Sunderland depot, added: “There are lots of couples across all of our depots and lots of generations of families too.
“This is testament to our desire and commitment to create a strong sense of community and belonging not only here at Sunderland, but at our other depots across the region.”
YYou can download a Valentine’s card for your loved on at www. sunderlandecho.com