A couple who met on the Isle of Wight 25 years ago made a romantic return to the Island at the Randonneé over the weekend.

Mark and Caroline Pengelly who now live in Cambridge, met in 1990, when Mark was working as a civil engineer on the St Mary’s Hospital building. Caroline, who grew up in Brighstone, was working as a student nurse at the hospital, and the couple later married at Brighstone Church in April 1991. It was the same date the new-look St Mary’s Hospital was re-opened to the public, and now 25 years since they met, they returned to the Island to raise funds for local charity Independent Arts, by taking part in the Ranndonneé. Caroline said:

“We have known of the work of Independent Arts for many years now, and feel that the work that the charity does is invaluable for older people across the Isle of Wight. When we were talking about undertaking the Randonnée and getting sponsored, Independent Arts was top of our list of charities we would like to support.”

The 100km route takes cyclists around the Isle of Wight through checkpoints in East Cowes, Wootton, Bembridge, Alverstone, Whitwell and Yarmouth. The couple have currently raised over £2600, with donations still being made. Chief Executive of Independent Arts, Kate Ball said:

“We are thrilled that Mark and Caroline chose to support our charity. The money that they have raised will allow us to reach vulnerable people in the community through engagement in the arts and creative activity”.

For more information about Independent Arts, please contact Caroline Ash, Project Manager at Independent Arts on 822437 or at [email protected] jonweeks