A couple with a 40-year age gap have defied all the odds to celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary.

Edna, 87, and 47-year-old Simon Martin met when she was 69 and he was 31 at a concert where it was "love at first sight".

And after all those years, the besotted pair, from Weston-Super-Mare, still don't care what the strangers think.

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To celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary, the lovebirds dined at a local fish and chips restaurant and exchanged romantic gifts.

They owe their successful marriage to treating each other with affection and going out on adventures every day.

Simon said: "We still go out together and walk hand-in-hand on our wheelers because we both struggle with our mobility.

"We have actually inspired other people in age-gap relationships to take the next step and get married.

"Our friends and acquaintances have always been happy for us but of course we just ignore any weird looks and comments.

"Love is love and everyone should ignore what anyone else says. Age is a state of mind, if you feel old, you are old."

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The gran-of-four bought Simon a torque bracelet, while Simon gifted Edna earrings with crystals.

Edna, a retired engineer, said: "We are still very much in love and keep our relationship alive through our little adventures."

The couple fell in love at a concert 18 years ago and haven't been able to take their hands off each other since.

Simon, a retired organist, managed to woo Edna, who has a son and grandkids older than him, with his musical prowess.

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Before moving in together, Simon, who never had a girlfriend before, lived in Birmingham.

They had to be long-distance lovers but couldn't bear to be apart so moved in together a few weeks later.

Simon's family took time to adjust, but after they saw how happy he was, they didn't care.

Edna's family have always been supportive and watched the couple wed on July 8, 2005.

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She said: "My daughter made our wedding cake and my son gave me away.

"He said at the wedding reception: 'I've been wanting to give my mother away all my life and this is the day for it'.

"My son is 57. My grandchildren are more the age that Simon is, but nobody takes any notice.

"The people where we live are very warm and friendly – they're not very judgmental, not that it's anyone's business."

The pair never shy away from public displays of affection and find it hard to keep their hands off each other.

Edna added: "We often have a little kiss in the supermarket queue or pinch each other's bums."

Simon concluded: "It's really wonderful that we can express our love publicly – not for other people, but for ourselves.

"It's very rare to see a couple of any age giving each other a loving peck or showing their affection."

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