John Young is a great example of how perseverance can pay off.
He was an apprentice at Falkirk bookbinder Dunn and Wilson in 1961 when he first set eyes on 15-year-old assistant Heather Gemmell from Bainsford.
Although Heather was initially not interested, John persisted until she finally agreed to go out with him.
And, last Thursday, March 6, the couple celebrated their golden wedding. Heather (68) said: “When we first met, I wouldn’t speak to him because I didn’t really like him.
“He put a spider on my back, so then I did speak to him – in no uncertain terms.
“I was sick of him following me around so eventually agreed to go to the pictures with him. He was very persistent.”
Married in 1964 at Grangemouth’s Old Parish Church, the couple spent the early years of married life in Poplar Street before moving to Wood Street.
Three children followed – Selina, Dale and Heather – before the family moved to Ireland in 1979.
John (70) said: “I was asked to get a factory in County Wicklow up and running, picked, I think, because I was good with people.”
The family spent 24 years in Ireland, John becoming managing director, before returning to Falkirk and a new home in Carron in 2003.
However, they had another change of scene in 2000 when Mr Young was asked to help the company in Australia.
Mrs Young said: “We were in Melbourne for eight months. It was great having barbecues all the time.
“They asked John to stay but by then he’d had enough.”
Since returning to Falkirk, John has been an active bowler and a handyman at Carrondale Nursing Home.
The couple love spending time with family, including their six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Heather said: “It’s all about being open and truthful with each other, and having a good laugh.”
John said: “And me admitting I’m wrong – with my fingers crossed behind my back.”