Falkirk couple Janet and John celebrate 50th anniversary

Golden Wedding Anniversary of couple John Penman and Janet Penman. Pic: Michael Gillen
Golden Wedding Anniversary of couple John Penman and Janet Penman. Pic: Michael Gillen

What’s the betting that a date arranged back in the 1960s could lead to 50 years of wedded bliss?

For Falkirk couple Janet and John Penman what might have been a mere brief encounter for some other couple turned into a lifetime of loving commitment – because the pair were married in St James Church on February 3, 1968.

On the big day 50 years ago

On the big day 50 years ago

However Janet concedes that she did originally go out with the man who was to become the love of her life “for a bet” – one which produced spectacular winnings for them both.

Janet (70), from Shieldhill and John (71), from Brightons were both in the print publications business - he as an apprentice bookbinder, while she was in production.

They will inevitably have been reflecting on those early years, when the industry they were involved in was very different from today.

As an important part of their Golden Wedding celebrations the couple have recently been on holiday in Dubai and the Gulf, enjoying a “special edition” version of the sort of trips that for years have been one of their great pleasures in life.

In fact the couple go on up to four holidays a year, and take a close interest in the sights, sounds and culinary tastes of all the places that they visit.

John retired eight years ago as director of Riley Dunn & Wilson Ltd of Falkirk - after no less than 49 years - and that has freed up more time for he and Janet to enjoy the things they like best.

Both are keen restaurant-goers, and are never afraid to try anything a little out of the ordinary - on the contrary the fun of discovering something new is part of the attraction.

In any given week that could include a visit to some local favourite, or - on a holiday trip - to any interesting venue that specialises in fascinating native cuisine.

John is a keen indoor bowls man, while Janet, an accomplished florist, now produces elaborate cross-stitching work in her spare time.

The couple have many things to look forward to, but from the last half century of life together one of the happiest memories must be the birth of daughter Laura in 1973.

Married to husband Kevin, she has given them grand-daughters Bethany (17) and Emma (15).

With plenty of golden memories to their credit, Janet and John have much to celebrate.