Bob, 91, and Margaret, 85, will be celebrating 65 years of marriage with family and friends, some of whom are travelling from as far afield as Canada, with a party at the Queensberry Bowling Club on September 16.
The couple first met in Granton in 1938, when he was aged 18 and she was 11. Bob was a friend of Margaret’s brother and soon also became like a brother to Margaret.
The young friends were separated in 1939 when the war came and Margaret was evacuated to Bathgate. Bob, who was working for the Railway Bonds in Leith, was also a member of the Territorial Army and was called up for service. He was sent to North Africa and Italy, where he served as a dispatch rider to Cassino.
Margaret regularly wrote to Bob and when he returned home for one month’s leave in 1945, he realised that Margaret, now 18, was no longer the young girl he remembered.
He promptly asked Margaret’s mother for permission to marry her, before proposing in the famous Willie Hare’s pub on Duke Street, Leith.
Bob was demobbed in 1946 and as his train arrived in Edinburgh, Margaret was waiting for him on the platform. They were married six moths later, on September 6, at St. Thomas’s Church in Leith, followed by a honeymoon in Inverness.
At the time of their marriage, Margaret was running the office for Wingie Robertson’s scrap merchants and Bob briefly returned to the Bonds before leaving to take up shift work at Todd’s Flour Mill in Leith.
The happy couple bought their first house for £325 in Nicol Place, Leith in 1947 and settled down to start a family. They had two daughters – Shirley, born in 1949, and Ann, in 1953.
Margaret returned to work after raising her family in 1959, setting up offices in Edinburgh for Dalziel’s Garage. She remained with the company for more than 20 years before retiring to look after her mother in 1981, the same year the couple moved to their current home in Pilton Drive North.
In 1964, after 18 years at the flour mill, Bob took a job as a blacksmith’s hammerman at Parsons Peebles in Granton, from which he retired in 1982.
Bob and Margaret have enjoyed their married life and now have two granddaughters, Eva and Samantha, and a great-grandson, Quinn. They have gained a reputation over the years as sociable party-goers, frequenting various clubs in Leith and regularly hosting and attending house parties. Bob is renowned for being a keen singer and is often asked to perform at parties.
Around 100 people are set to attend the anniversary celebrations and no doubt Bob will be willing to entertain his guests with a song.