Couple celebrate 75 years of marriage

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A SCOTTISH couple have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Surrounded by three generations of their family Robert, 100, and Susan Erskine, 99, marked their anniversary with a party on New Year’s Day.

The pair married in 1937 and have not been separated for more than a day since the Second World War, when Mr Erskine was posted abroad. They are thought to be the UK’s oldest couple.

Mrs Erskine, who turns 100 in April, said yesterday: “Robert has always been by my side, all throughout the years since the war. I love him as much now as I did then and we still kiss and hold hands, despite being married for so long.

“We have our disagreements, but we always make up again.

“It sounds really clichéd but the secret is give and take, listen to each other and respect each other’s opinion. We also still enjoy a bit of romance, Robert takes me out for nice meals. Maybe that’s the secret.”

The couple fell in love aged 20 and 21 when they met at a dance at Carriden Parish Church in their home town of Bo’ness. They were engaged for five years before marrying in the town.

They spent every day together until Mr Erskine was called into the army as a dispatch rider for the Royal Signals in Baghdad and Cairo.

During his service Mr Erskine wrote to his wife almost every day until they were reunited when peace was declared.

The couple moved to Edinburgh with their children Margaret and eldest son William for work, where Mr Erskine worked as a joiner and Mrs Erskine as a fabric machinist.

They went on to have another son Bobby, now aged 51, and six grandchildren before moving back to Bo’ness 25 years ago.

The couple are still active with Mrs Erskine singing in the church choir until recently and still socialising with friends and family. She said the secret to a long life was a diet of porridge, soup, mince, fruit and plenty of exercise.

She said: “My mother taught me never to be lazy and to always have meals on the table for my husband. We’ve always taken life one day at a time, and walked through it hand-in-hand.

“We were engaged for a long time, but my mother gave her approval because she knew he was a nice boy who didn’t drink or smoke.”