For nearly 50 years, John and Joan Guilding had been hoping a bit of their past would catch up with them. When it did, it was a moment of unbridled happiness, as they told Emma Pinch...
John and Joan Guilding were deeply in love.
Such was their passion they had ripped themselves from their former lives and respective marriages and eloped to a rural Worcestershire idyll.
Half a century later their devotion had not dimmed, but it was marred by one lasting sadness.
Their affair had led to the birth of a daughter when they were both married, and Joan's furious husband had forced her to give her baby up.
They never knew their daughter - until holiday company boss Christina Gibbons turned up at their Lake District home and said: "Hello mum and dad".
"We had dreamed of seeing her for decades," said 85 year-old John. "Now we've found her we will never lose touch."
Their story began in 1953 when John, whose then wife Joyce was 20 years his senior, began work at Thomas Bint's farm near Exeter.
He fell for Mr Bint's wife, Joan, who was unhappy in her marriage, and the two were soon orchestrating secret trysts.
"She was absolutely gorgeous - she looked like a film star. It was mutual attraction. It just absolutely hit us both," said John.
Joan became pregnant.
"We knew there would be trouble because Joan hadn't slept with her husband for two years, so he would obviously know about our affair."
When Joan admitted to her husband what had happened, he was furious and banned John from the birth. He forced Joan to give her daughter up for adoption to a family in Bristol.
John's only sight of his daughter was when Joan held her up to him through the hospital window as he secretly waited outside.
Some time later, they eloped to Worcestershire with Joan's two daughters, fleeing with only the clothes they stood in.
John found work as a farm labourer and they lived in a small farm cottage.
Eventually divorced from their former partners, they married at Malvern register office in 1959 and soon afterwards had their own son, who was also christened John.
"It was an idyllic time," said John senior.
"We tried to put what had happened behind us and got on with our lives. There was always work there in every season in the fields, picking strawberries, potatoes, runner-beans, sprouts, cauliflowers and Joan's two daughters were there with us."
John also found work as a haulier on the construction of the new M6. Eventually they saved enough money to buy a farm in Derbyshire and later retired to Troutbeck in Cumbria.
John said although they were always content, they still felt a part of their lives was missing.
Joan, now 89, had secretly tried to track down her daughter for years and John only recently found out about his wife's efforts when he stumbled across a box of letters she had written to friends and agencies.
"We wondered and worried about her. Was she in England or abroad? What had become of her?" he said.
"We always had a strong marriage all the way through, but it's even better now we've found our daughter."
Christina, 49, lives with her own adopted son and husband Kevin in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
After her foster parents died she began looking for her real parents, using her birth certificate which recorded Thomas and Joan Bint as the father and mother.
Eventually she tracked down one of Joan's two daughters, who still had the same surname of Bint, and through her wrote to her parents asking if they would like to see her.
"It was initially a strange time because I didn't know if they would want to see me but they replied to the letter straight away," she said.
"I couldn't wait to meet them and was so glad I had managed to find them while they were still alive. It's a wonderful feeling to know I was wanted and not a mistake."
John said they had met up four times since Christina found them. "On our last phone bill there were 30 calls to her and we correspond regularly. We want to make the most of finding each other," he said.