Pair who met in an ice cream parlour on Portobello’s promenade celebrate Diamond wedding anniversary

William and Elizabeth Laidlaw, a well-known couple from Portobello, have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends.

The couple were both born and raised in the area and were delighted to celebrate their long marriage in the community where it began.

William, 84, and Elizabeth, 80, have shared many happy years together since they met in an ice cream parlour on Portobello’s promenade.

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Before they were engaged, William served two years in the Royal Air Force from 1946 until 1948, based in Sharpitors, Dartmoor, where he worked as a radar mechanic.

The couple were engaged in 1950, in Portobello, after William sold his motorbike in order to buy the ring.

He also made sure to ask for permission from Elizabeth’s father before popping the question.

Two years later they were married in the old parish church in Bellfield Street, Portobello, surrounded by their family and friends.

William recalls: “It was a lovely day, so nice to be married in our hometown.”

They both followed different professions – William working for British Telecom and Elizabeth for the Law Society of Scotland.

In their spare time they both enjoyed playing tennis and swimming, as they had the facilities to do so in their local area.

William was so involved that he became president of the Portobello Swimming Club, while Liz also became president of the women’s sector.

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This lasted a few years until the club merged both of its sectors in order to expand and William became the overall president of the club.

A strong swimmer, William at one time was the national under-21s water polo coach, and still coaches at the Portobello pool today.

Two years into their marriage they had their first child, Anne, 58, who was followed by Martin, 56. Anne produced their first grandchild, Christopher, now 29, and Martin had two children – Chloe, now 21, and Kirsty, now 17, both of whom live in the Cayman Islands.

Elizabeth said the couple felt lucky to have “such lovely friends and family”.

They celebrated their diamond anniversary at the Kings Manor Hotel, Portobello, where their family and close friends turned out to wish them well.

Elizabeth’s sister, Kate, and Margaret, William’s sister, were both able to attend, and the couple’s original wedding line-up was almost completed when the best man and the maid of honour were also able to come.

This was a wonderful addition to what was described as a “lovely day” by William and Elizabeth.

In addition to long-lasting love they both say the key to a happy marriage is “lots of roundabouts and ups and downs which help you grow stronger with one another”.

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