Diamond celebration for miner Dem and his precious gem Lizbeth

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A miner uncovered a real diamond on the dancefloor over 60 years ago and is still loving life with her.

Dem and Lizbeth McFarlane’s diamond wedding anniversary took place yesterday (Wednesday) but they already marked the milestone with a surprise party and are soon to head off on a cruise of the Mediterranean and holiday in Majorca.

The globe-trotting gardening lovers, who live in Ochilview Terrace, Bo’ness, first met back in the rock ‘n’ rolling 1950s at the Kinneil miners’ social club.

Dem (84), short for Dempster, said: “I was around 20 and she was 17. It was the start of our courting days and going to the Empire Theatre in Edinburgh.”

Lizbeth (81) said: “We just clicked right away – I walked him up the road and said I’ll see you next week, and then the next week and the next after that.”

Soon after they were married in Bo’ness Old Kirk on July 18, 1958 and began their lifetime of travelling together with a honeymoon in the Isle of Man.

Dem had been a miner at the Kinneil pit, but moved into the chemical industry with Borg Warner in Grangemouth, while Lizbeth’s father John Fleming owned a newspaper shop in Bo’ness and she worked there while she and Dem started a family.

Daughter Diane came along in 1962 and son Scott was born in 1966.

The couple’s family has now grown to include five grandchildren – Siobhan, Darren, Cheryl, Dylan and Jamie – and three great grandchildren – Rhys, Jayden and Mayson.

They were all present when Dem and Lizbeth arrived at the Richmond Park Hotel recently thinking they were just going to have a little family dinner.

“The whole family were there,” said Lizbeth. “There was even a piper who played for us as we arrived. We walked in the door and we saw all our family and friends’ faces.” It was also a complete shock to Dem, who had gone to the venue with his comfortable shoes on not realising he would have to get up and do some dancing.

The couple thanked all their family for the surprise evening and the presents they received.

“They all played a part,” said Lizbeth.

So did Dem and Lizbeth think back in 1958 they would be still be together 60 years later?

“We didn’t look that far ahead – but having said that we weren’t looking for anyone else. At least I wasn’t,” laughed Dem.

Scott joked he was the one who kept them together all these years, but his parents – who still go dancing at the Kinneil club – revealed the real secret of their long and happy marriage.

Lizbeth said: “We share things and have common interests, we both love gardening and going on bus trips, cruises, caravaning and holidays.”

Dem said: “The most important thing is we still love each other.”