AN OLD Kilpatrick couple who struck up a holiday romance 50 years ago celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in lockdown after their planned trip to Dubai was cancelled.

Winifred and Billy Parkinson were due to fly out to United Arab Emirates at the end of last month to mark their half-century milestone.

But instead, the couple celebrated with a small family gathering.

Winnie told the Post: “It was lovely. We had our daughter, our daughter-in-law Tracey and our grandson come over.

“I delivered afternoon tea to my neighbours too but they’ve still to get a glass of bubbly as it was too rainy at the time.

“My son couldn’t come as he’s stuck in Norway – he’s been there since February with work, but we keep in contact via video call.”

Billy, who is originally from Dalmuir, met Winnie, from East Boldon, when they were both on holiday in Blackpool in the late 60s.

Winnie said: “We stayed in the same hotel. I was 17 and Billy was 19.

“They came down and asked if we had a hair dryer, then we needed black boot polish from them as our shoes were all scuffed with the sand.

“We all got talking and me and Billy seemed to hit it off straight away so we kept in contact with each other.

“We sent a lot of letters to each other, and he had a car so he used to drive down to visit me quite frequently.”

The pair got married in Boldon Tyne and Wear on June 27, 1970, but moved to Clydebank, where they had two children – Stephen and Susan. They have one grandson Jason, 14.

The couple were looking forward to their holiday abroad but knew a few months ago that it wasn’t going to go ahead.

Winnie said: “The travel agents were still asking for the money, so we decided to cancel it ourselves. It wasn’t going ahead anyway.

“If we rebook, it will be some time next year but we’re both in our 70s. We don’t know what it will be like then.”

Winnie worked as a hairdresser before working for a telecommunications company in Alexandria. She then became a machinist in Yoker.

Meanwhile, Billy worked as a welder at the shipyards.

Their secret to a long and happy marriage is to talk any problems through.