Romance on the Number 9 Bus

Irene and John Copland

Who needs the internet to find love? Especially when you have buses! It may not be the most romantic of settings, but it’s still probably better than the dating sites that some of the younger generations use nowadays. It was in 1956 when my Gran, Irene McAdam, first met my Grandpa, John Copland. They were only thirteen and eighteen at the time, so I highly doubt that they realised that their future partner was so close. They were both sitting on the number nine, which takes you from Drumchapel to George Square. He was sitting proudly in his Salvation Army uniform, with his arm around another girl, when Irene approached him. She merely wanted to know if he knew who her cousin Barbara was. Fortunately he did. It was sometime after that, before they met again. Three years to be exact. By this point Irene was sixteen and John was twenty-one. They both started talking and cupid must have shot them with his bow and arrow. They spent the majority of the night together, talking and laughing and playing silly games like table tennis. At the end of the night, John asked her out on an official date, to which she said yes.

John then began his national service in 1959, during this time they continued to date. This experience led him to decide that he would join the R.A.F For 12 years as a telegraphist. With the relationship going strong, John decided it was time. In 1960 they pair were both once again, sitting on that orange, cream and green striped bus; the number 9. It was here that my Grandpa proposed. They were sitting side by side when he pulled out the ring, handed it over and said “here you are”. He thought it was a sweet idea to give it to her on the same bus where they had first met when they were teenagers. My gran took the ring and that’s when my Grandpa said “Aren’t you going to put it on?”, So she did.

They got married the next year in 1961 on June 10th. The following year was when they began their family, from 1962 onward they had four boys: Paul, Andrew, Richard and Craig. They also fostered children for over thirty years, eventually deciding to adopt one girl and bring two into long term fostering: Anna, Lisa and Sarah. Alongside family holidays, my grandparents would travel the world together during my Grandpas time in the R.A.F. All their kids are all grown up and have had their own children. There’s fourteen grandchildren in total and five great grandchildren!

Sadly, my Grandpa passed away at the age of 77 on the 31st of December 2013, from the final stages of dementia. He left behind a big family including my Gran who is now 76 and still stays in the family home. She is almost always surrounded by her children or her grandchildren and splits her time between Millport, Spain or Australia, visiting all the family who now live all over.

Irene and John Wedding Photo


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