Childhood sweethearts going strong 50 years on

Childhood sweethearts Chick and Ann McNaught have celebrated 50 golden years of marriage with a celebration with friends and family in Armadale, followed by a fortnight's holiday in sun-kissed Benidorm.

Around 18 guests feasted together at the Amore Restaurant in West Lothian to mark the pair's landmark anniversary before the duo headed off on holiday.

The Glasgow-born couple grew up together in the east of the city in the 1950s.

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Chick's father was foreman of a mushroom farm near Ruchazie, the district where Ann (ne Armitage) was raised.

The duo naturally had the same circle of friends.

"We have known each other since I was 13 and he was 14," said Ann, 68, originally from Shettleston. "We all went about together in a crowd when we were younger.

"But Chick left school at 15 and he started working a year before me doing an apprenticeship at Telford, Grier and Mackay engineering firm in Ibrox.

A few years later the pair met again and began courting. They got engaged in 1958. "He always says that I asked him but I really didn't," said Ann. "We just decided to get married."

Just 18 months later and the pair tied the knot at Ruchazie Parish Church in April 1960, in a small ceremony akin to their golden anniversary celebration. Ann was 18 and Chick one year her senior.

The pair eschewed a honeymoon and instead a teenage Chick carried his new bride over the threshold of their marital home in Govan.

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Within a year Ann gave birth to Elizabeth, their first child. John and Brian followed in 1963 and 1964 respectively. By this time, the mum-of-three had given up her job in the warehouse of printers J&J Murdoch and Sons to concentrate on raising a family.

The McNaughts moved to Cumbernauld and Muirhead as Chick progressed up the career ladder before finally settling in Armadale, where the couple has remained since. Once in West Lothian, Chick found work with the local authority in 1982 as a safety and training officer. He took early retirement in 1997 aged 55. Ann was employed at the Queen Anne Whisky factory in Newbridge from 1976 to 1990.

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In their retirement the couple have enjoyed transatlantic holidays to Florida and Las Vegas, and have more time to spoil their five grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.

Asked what first attracted her to her husband, Ann said: "He was a nice clean-cut big fella and he still is.

"He always had a nice clean shirt, and tie and polished shoes."

She also offered some words of advice for other young couples eager to emulate their marriage's longevity.

"We have just worked at it but have certainly had our ups and downs," she said. "But we just stuck together and worked through everything. I say I'm the boss but you have to give and take and listen to one another."

Ann and Chick, who will be 70 this month, live in Glenwood Drive, Armadale.