They said it wouldn’t last for Larbert couple 66 years ago

Danny and Ella Conroy celebrated 66 years of marriage on October 18. Picture: Michael Gillen (132721)
Danny and Ella Conroy celebrated 66 years of marriage on October 18. Picture: Michael Gillen (132721)

When Annabella Mackenzie married Daniel Conroy at 
Stirling Registry Office her mother warned it would never last.

But 66 years later the couple have certainly proved her wrong.

On October 18 they celebrated quietly the latest in a long line of milestone anniversaries.

The Conroys both admit they never thought that a blind date all those years ago would end in such a long and happy marriage.

Speaking from their home in Dundarroch Street, Larbert, the pair said there had been “a few bad words” over the years, but their relationship had endured all the ups and downs of raising a family.

Danny (88) was born in Bellshill but brought up on Orchard Farm at Millhall, near Stirling. His grandfather worked in the nearby pit for 62 years, but Danny quickly decided that wasn’t a life for him.

He said: “I went to the pit but told them to stick their job and instead joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. I’d been in the Home Guard for two years since I was 16 and on February 3, 1944 I was called up.”

Military service as a private took him all over Europe, to Palestine and Korea.

Meanwhile, Ella (85) had a privileged start to life 
being born in Barcaldine Castle at Benderloch, overlooking Loch Creran, where her grandfather was the caretaker.

When she was seven her mother married a Larbert man and the family moved to this area. After school she was trained as a dressmaker working at Donaldson Mill in Sauchie.

But shortly after the end of the Second World War romance arrived in the shape of soldier Danny Conroy.

She said: “My friend set us up on a blind date. But my mother wasn’t happy when we got married in 1947. She never liked him!”

When Danny left the Army in 1952 he was a gardener on the Harviestoun Estate, near Tillicoultry, later working at the nearby Dollar Academy.

The family moved back to the Larbert area when he was appointed janitor at Carron Primary, before moving to Larbert Village Primary School.

The couple have five children – Elizabeth, Daniel, Margaret, James and John, 11 grandchildren, “numerous” great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Many of them got together at the Cladhan Hotel earlier this month for a celebration to mark Danny’s 88th birthday.