Hunt for Ribble Valley’s most loving couple

Ribble Valley Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Janette Ranson, married for 45 years and promoting the valley as the capital of love
Ribble Valley Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Janette Ranson, married for 45 years and promoting the valley as the capital of love

Our rural borough, famed for its fine food and first-class schools, looks set to also become the UK’s capital of love.

And now the search is on for Ribble Valley’s “King and Queen of Love” as part of its borough council’s “Wedding Heaven” tourism initiative.

Ribble Valley Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Janette Ranson, married for 45 years and promoting the valley as the capital of love

Ribble Valley Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Janette Ranson, married for 45 years and promoting the valley as the capital of love

Wedding Heaven – a partnership between Ribble Valley Borough Council and 15 venues licensed for marriage and civil ceremonies – was launched in November. And, to mark Valentine’s Day, a dream prize, including a vow-renewal ceremony and spa afternoon, is up for grabs by the borough’s most loving couple.

Ribble Valley Mayor Michael Ranson said: “Ribble Valley is famed for many things, including its fine food and first-rate schools, beautiful countryside and magical scenery, low crime rate and low council tax.

“It is the exact centre of the kingdom and even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth said in her official biography she would like to retire here. My wife, Janette, and I have enjoyed 45 years of happy marriage, many of them here in Ribble Valley, which we believe is one of the most beautiful areas in the country.”

“Weddings provide a fantastic showcase for Ribble Valley and its businesses and by forging the Wedding Heaven partnership the council is working to establish the borough as the UK’s capital of love.”

The mayor and mayoress were married at Blackburn Cathedral on August 20th, 1970, followed by a reception at The Spread Eagle, Sawley, which is now offering a vow-renewal ceremony followed by drinks and canapes for 20 guests to the borough’s most loving couple.

After renewing their vows, the prize-winning lovebirds will be whisked away for a romantic dinner and overnight stay at a top Ribble Valley venue, as well as a host of other goodies, including a spa afternoon at Stanley House Hotel, Mellor.

The council’s tourism and events officer, Tom Pridmore, said: “The secret’s out. Ribble Valley is the ideal place to find romance, or tie the knot. And we want to hear from residents who think they know who the borough’s most loving couple are.

“They might have overcome adversity to be together, met and courted in the borough, or created a loving family. Whoever it is, they have a love of Ribble Valley and each other.”

If you know Ribble Valley’s King and Queen of Love, e-mail tourism@ribblevalley.gov.uk explaining why, in 200 words or less, by Friday, March 6th. The winner will be chosen at random from the shortlisted entries and further details are available from Tom Pridmore on 01200 425111.