A meeting at the dancing has resulted in 50 years of wedded bliss for Helen and Ian Haughie.
The couple celebrate their golden wedding anniversary today and have jetted off to the Canary Islands with all the family to mark the milestone.
Helen was just 16 and working in the Camelon Co-op when she met Stirling-born 18-year-old Ian, then an apprentice electrician in Polmaise Colliery in Fallin, during a dance at the Dobbie Hall in Larbert.
The two began courting and the following year got engaged. They were married on October 25, 1962, at St Andrew’s Church in Falkirk and went on to celebrate with a reception for over 100 guests at Mathiesons Tearoom in the High Street.
Helen, who continued to work for the Co-op until she was in her 50s, said: “The wedding was the most perfect day and I absolutely loved my dress. My mum had brought it back from Canada where she had gone to visit my sister and it was unlike anything you could get here at the time with a full skirt and scooped neckline and lots of beading.
“In fact, the very next week I had someone at my door wanting to buy it. But I couldn’t part with it and my daughter ended up using it for dressing up.”
The couple, who now live in Anson Avenue in Falkirk, went to chilly Ayr for their October honeymoon.
Daughter Dianne (49), who works in law, soon came along to be followed a few years later by Barry (42), who works for Marks and Spencers.
Helen (68) joked: “It was absolutely freezing in Ayr on our honeymoon - I’m sure that is why Dianne came along so quickly!”
Ian (70), left mining and joined BP in Grangemouth in 1970, working there until he retired in 2000.
He said: “For a marriage to last 50 years you have to love each other. Without love it all falls apart.
“Having a steady income takes the pressure off and we have been lucky in that we have never struggled. But the main thing is loving each other. That is more important than anything else.”
The Haughies’ son-in-law Allan Gibson and Barry’s wife Angela will be joining the couple on their sunshine break. They have two grandchildren, Darren (20) and eight-year-old Scott, a pupil at Larbert Village Primary.
Helen said: “We were very young when we married but we’ve grown up together.
“I can’t believe our wedding was 50 years ago, but they have been very happy years and marking the anniversary with a family holiday is the ideal way to celebrate.”