Devoted Scottish couple, married for 70 years, say secret to wedded bliss is sharing the chores

he couple met at a dance when Robert was an RAF serviceman, and Betty was working in a munitions factory.
he couple met at a dance when Robert was an RAF serviceman, and Betty was working in a munitions factory.
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A devoted couple who celebrated 70 years of wedded bliss say that sharing the chores is the secret to a happy marriage.

Robert and Betty Smith reached the remarkable milestone on Tuesday and celebrated by relaxing at home.

Robert, 91, grew up in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, but settled in the West Country when he met his wife, Betty, 94.

Robert, 91, grew up in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, but settled in the West Country when he met his wife, Betty, 94.

The couple, who have three great-grandchildren, met at a dance during World War II.

Robert, 91, grew up in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, but settled in the West Country when he met his wife, Betty, 94.

The couple met at a dance when Robert was an RAF serviceman, and Betty was working in a munitions factory.

Robert briefly returned to Scotland after being demobbed in 1948, but was unable to forget about Betty and married her the following year, at St Mary's Church in Chippenham, Wilts, on October 22 1949.

Robert and Betty Smith reached the remarkable milestone on Tuesdayand celebrated by relaxing at home.

Robert and Betty Smith reached the remarkable milestone on Tuesdayand celebrated by relaxing at home.

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The couple still live in the pretty market town where they first met - and Robert prefers the weather down south, which he says is 'fairer'.

He still loves shortbread, porridge oats, and Baxters Scotch broth, as well as Mackays rhubarb and ginger jam.

When asked about the secret to a happy marriage, Betty said: "We've always shared the household chores, except Bob doesn't cook."

And Robert added: "We've always worked well together and enjoyed each other's company."

The couple has two daughters, Diana, 61, and Sheila, 66.

They also have two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Their daughter, Diana Moffatt, 61, said: "How many people get to 70 years of marriage?

"It really is an amazing achievement.

"I was so glad that they made it - Dad was ill twice this year with pneumonia.

"My dad lived in Scotland when he was growing up, then his National Service sent him all over the country.

"All my dad's family live up in Scotland but they got married down south.

"Mum's mother did all the reception, she did have a wedding cake and she did buy a wedding dress but it was the end of the war so money was tight.

"I'm very lucky that I've got both my parents and they still live in their own home.

"They have seen such changes, and they have done everything together all their lives."

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After the war, Betty worked a telephonist for Chippenham Borough Council, and her husband worked for the electricity board.

Robert still has three siblings living in Wishaw, and the family spent many holidays in Scotland, particularly enjoying coach trips and visits to Loch Lomond.

Growing up in Wishaw, times were hard and Robert still remembers collecting coal off the railway line near the family's home.

He said: "I always remember the night Clydebank was bombed in 1940/41 - the night sky was lit up with fire."

Most Sundays were spent walking along the banks of the Clyde and admiring the scenery - but Robert found that the countryside in the West Country was just as enjoyable, with the Cotswolds on their doorstep.

He said: "I have loved living in the West Country as the weather is much fairer down here and Chippenham is a lovely town.

"It was particularly lovely when the children were growing up with the open air swimming pool in Monkton Park many happy days were spent there.

"Unfortunately it is no longer there which is such a shame."

The couple shared a love of gardening, and enjoyed visiting stately homes in the area where they live.

A particular favourite was Bowood House, in Calne, Wilts., where Betty's father worked as a gamekeeper.

Diana added: "We are so blessed to still have our parents and its been so wonderful to celebrate this extraordinary milestone in their lives."