Mossend couple celebrates 75th wedding anniversary

Patrick and Christina Toll
Patrick and Christina Toll

A Mossend couple reached an incredible milestone on Friday as they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Patrick and Christina Toll marked the occasion with their five children, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren at the Castle Rooms.

The couple, who have lived in Douglas Street for nearly 60 years, first met in 1943 at Patrick was friendly with Christina’s brother.

Patrick, who had been a labourer, was called up for the Merchant Navy in 1941, while Christina had to give up her job at a proofreaders in Glasgow to make bombs at the munitions factory in Coatbridge.

Christina’s bands would be read out on the steps on Bellshill West Church, but as the minister was going to a BB camp they were actually married on July 12, 1944, in the manse of St Andrew’s Church by Mr Renton.

Patrick (96) said: “It was a different time, the normal processes were thrown out the window ... you could get your license one day and married the next .”

Just two days after the wedding Patrick would be shipped off to Algiers.

Christina (94) said: “It was tough not knowing where he was, but it was same for everyone with a loved one serving.

“I gave up a good job when I was told to start making bombs, we did what we had to do ... we just did our duty.”

The couple’s first home was a room in Hamilton Road, Bellshill, with their eldest child Christine soon to arrive, and they would get a prefab in Liberty Road as their family expanded to include sons Allan, William, Ian and Jim.

Initially Christina stayed home to raise their family, while Patrick became a billet dresser at Stewart and Lloyds in Mossend where he would remain for 30 years until it closed when he was 64.

As the children got older Christina did go back to work as a night supervisor at the Ranco factory in Viewpark for 16 years, and when the firm moved, at Honeywell for another 10 until the age of 58.

The couple enjoyed trips to Italy, enjoyed being on the Costa Del Sol in Spain where their son William owned a pub for a time and bought a caravan near Dumfries.

This year saw Christina have to give up running the sequence dance club at Bellshill West Church after nearly 30 years. Patrick says he was always kept busy with DIY and ‘wee jobs’, but was most happy in his garden.

All five of their children still stay in Lanarkshire, and their home is a constant hive of activity as the different generations visit.

Christina said: “We’ve done well, no marriage is perfect – we’ve had out ups and down – but we’ve always remained strong and we have such a good family to have helped us to get here and we are so proud of them.”