From Blackpool to Stenhousemuir with love

James and Rhoda Allan
James and Rhoda Allan

A couple who met on a train journey to Blackpool have now been on the right track for married bliss for 60 years.

Stenhousemuir couple James and Rhoda Allan celebrated their Diamond Wedding on Thursday surrounded by close family - something that is very important to the couple.

Rhoda (81) said: “Our family has always been there for us and we have always been there for them.”

And quite a family it is: four daughters - Sheena, Margaret, Rhona and Evelyn - six grandchildren and one great grandchild on the way.

James (84) has always been surrounded by the female of the species and jokingly refers to the “petticoat government” which has prevailed in the Allan household over the decades.

“You’ve got to have a sense of humour,” he laughed.

The couple’s lifetime romance started back in 1948.

“I had just left the Army,” said James, who was brought up in Stenhousemuir. “I first saw her on a train going down to Blackpool.”

Rhoda added: “We met on the train and then again in Blackpool and went winching for two years after that. We got engaged in 1950.”

The couple, who live in Park Avenue, Stenhousemuir, were married in Laurieston Parish Church on December 1, 1951.

“I just walked across the road to the church,” laughed Rhoda. “I lived in Dundas Crescent in Laurieston. I must be one of the only brides not to get a car to the church.”

And so began a happy married life - James worked for British Aluminium and Rhoda raised the four girls before working as a home help for a number of years.

Rhoda said: “It’s always been about the family for us - our daughters are all so close and we see the grandchildren all the time.”

The couple had a family gathering at the Hotel Cladhan to celebrate.