A KEIGHLEY couple have become the third generation of their family to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

Sheila and Graham Gilbertson, who live at Westgate Gardens, will on Friday July 19 mark 50 years of happy marriage.

Sheila’s parents Henrietta and Robert Wallace celebrated their golden anniversary in 1995 and her grandparents Marie and James Carnochan reached the milestone in 1970.

Sheila and Gilbert hail from the tiny Scots village of Kirkconnel but since the 1970s the clan has established a sizeable outpost in Keighley.

The pair knew each other well while growing up, their families close neighbours in the tight-knit terraces of the mining village in Dumfriesshire.

The story began in 1920 when Kirkconnel man James married Swiss-Belgique woman Augusta Marie Charlotte Despont in London, probably after serving in the First World War.

The pair lived in Kirkconnel, and their daughter Henrietta Carnochan married villager Robert Walker Wallace in 1945.

Sheila and Graham also lived in the village at first, but in 1981 followed in the footsteps of Sheila’s aunt and uncles by finding work in Keighley.

Sheila became warden of the new Emily Street pensioner flats in Eastwood while Graham joined his uncle-in-laws who were long-time caretakers at the Kennedy House and Westgate Gardens high-rise flats.

Graham went on to have a 29-year career as a caretaker with the council, including 17 years at Westgate Gardens off Oakworth Road, where he and Sheila still live.

After being the first warden at the Merlin Court sheltered housing, Sheila studied hairdressing, and regularly returned to Kirkconnel to look after after her ageing parents.

In 1995 Sheila had to organise two parties for her parents’ golden wedding anniversary because there were so many relatives in both Kirkconnel and Keighley.

She and Graham put their long-lived marriage down to getting on with the one another and sharing interests. They have a daughter Sharon and granddaughter Ebony.