SPONSORED: Salsburgh golden couple celebrate 50th wedding anniversary in lockdown

A special Salsburgh couple who met as teenagers at a dance in their local village hall have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Bernadette and Patrick Cushley, from Salsburgh, locked eyes in the Little Flower Hall in Carfin, two weeks before his 20th birthday – and have remained smitten ever since.

Bernadette fondly remembers the night she met her husband at the village dance, aged 17, more than five decades ago.

She said: “I had just turned 17 and my mum took me to a dance in the Little Flower Hall in Carfin. When she saw Patrick she said ‘there’s the man for my girl’. He was quite a handsome guy and I thought he was lovely.”

After a brief courtship the lovebirds tied the knot in St Francis Xavier Parish Church, on February 20, 1971.

Patrick and Bernadette Cushley on their wedding day at St Francis Xavier Parish Church, Carfin
(Image: Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser)

And like Welsh singer Tom Jones, whose single She’s A Lady hit gold in March that year, Patrick knew he had also struck gold when he wed his beloved Bernadette.

Patrick, from Salsburgh, was brought up in Reid Street and after their marriage they moved to Holytown, before finally settling and raising their family in Duntilland Avenue, Salsburgh, where they have lived happily for over 40 years.

He attended St Aloysius Primary and Secondary schools in Chapelhall, and trained as a coach driver with SMT in Glasgow, before joining his brother’s firm Cushley Motorcoaches, and spent his latter years with McPhails Buses, Newarthill, where he worked for many years, until he was forced to give up his career due to Crohn’s disease.

He then focused on raising his children, volunteered with the Children’s Panel and was also a volunteer ambulance driver. He is a keen cook and an avid Celtic fan, and loves watching his favourite team and documentaries on television.

Bernadette, originally from Motherwell, attended Our Lady of Good Aid Primary and St Joseph’s Junior Secondary. After leaving school she worked in a local shoe shop, and discovered her passion for nursing while training as a dispensary assistant in a chemist.

She completed an access to nursing course at Motherwell College, and continued her training in Monklands Hospital, and then worked as a staff nurse in Hairmyres Hospital for over 20 years, before retiring.

“I worked shifts and Patrick looked after the children, but we managed between the two of us,” said Bernadette.

She is a keen baker and expert crafter and uses her creative flair to make fairy houses to order for youngsters across Monklands.

Before lockdown the perfect pair enjoyed cruising holidays around the Caribbean and Mediterranean, and are devoted to their family and grandchildren, who all live locally.

The couple have nine children, Carolann, Eileen, Bernadette, Stephen, Monica, Diane, Kathleen, Patrick and Sean, and 15 grandchildren.

The golden couple celebrated their milestone anniversary at their home and were joined, over Zoom, by their extended family from Monklands and beyond to mark the momentous occasion.

Kathleen explained: “We are all very close, we live within 10 minutes of each other. We decorated our cars with balloons and had music playing. We showed them the video messages from my aunts and uncles and extended family in Australia on the portal. We couldn’t let it go without doing something special.”

And the couple, who were “overwhelmed” with cards, flowers and gifts from their loving family and friends, confirmed the secret to their blissful 50-year union has been remaining “down to earth and depending on each other”.

A delighted Bernadette enthused: “It was one surprise after another, it was absolutely brilliant. The celebrations couldn’t have been any better.”

Daily Record – Motherwell