Lothian couple to celebrate diamond anniversary

Billy and Nettie. Picture: contributed
Billy and Nettie. Picture: contributed
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A COUPLE who met at a youth club dance will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary next week.

William and Janet Durie were introduced at the dance in the masonic hall in Roslin and married five years later at Bonnyrigg Parish Church on June 6, 1953.

It was the same week as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, making the occasion all the more memorable. Known as Billy and Nettie to family and friends, the couple said it was a beautiful day.

Nettie, 81, said: “Billy had just come back from his National Service. He was in the RAF and spent most of it in Egypt.

“It was a nice day and the same week as the coronation. We went on honeymoon in Aberdeen – you didn’t go abroad back then.”

Billy, now 83, was born in Peebles and brought up in Roslin Glen Cottages.

Nettie was born and bred in Bonnyrigg and the couple moved there after they were married.

When they met, Billy worked as a plasterer, which he continued to do, apart from a two-year gap for his National Service, until his retirement in 1995.

Nettie worked as a secretary with Bonnyrigg Town Council, and thereafter with Midlothian District Council until her retirement in 1994.

They have a son, Ian, and a daughter, Irene, grandchildren Jennifer, John, Catriona, Scott and Claire, and three great-grandchildren – Demi, Jack and Caitlin.

The couple plan to celebrate the milestone with family at an Italian restaurant next weekend.

Billy has had a lifetime interest in junior football, both as a player with Thorntree and Newtongrange Star, and then as a manager, coach and physio with Bonnyrigg Rose, where he continues to be a dedicated supporter.

Nettie recalls: “Junior football has always been his love. We have a big cabinet here which is full of trophies.

“He played football for Thorntree and Newtongrange Star and then was a manager and coach for Bonnyrigg Rose.

“He likes Hearts but junior football is his life. He has a diploma for 50 years of service to it.”

Nettie has always loved family life and she likes to entertain.

She also enjoys taking part in sequence dancing and doing local voluntary work organised by Bonnyrigg Seniors Forum.

The happy couple both go walking and like to holiday abroad, although latterly they have enjoyed coach tour holidays in the UK.

Both love to spend quality time with all their family and said this was one of the reasons for their long and happy marriage.

Nettie said: “I think we’ve done so well because we have always been there for each other.

“That, and we have a good family. We are a close family which I think is important.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating with all of our family.”