Former army cook David Brown and his World Clootie Dumpling contest-winning wife Ruth, both aged 90, have discovered the best ingredients when it comes to producing a 70-year-long marital bond.
The duo welcomed friends and Falkirk district Provost Billy Buchanan to their Shieldhill home on Tuesday, May 8 to mark the occasion as they reflected on an incredible seven decades spent together as husband and wife.
Shieldhill-born David and Ruth, from Great Broughton, North Yorkshire, met at the Stokesley Show in North Yorkshire aged 19. A chance encounter led David — working at the agricultural event with what was then the Army Catering Corps — to strike up a conversation with his future bride as they passed by one another in the crowd.
The couple married a year later at St Augustine’s Church in Kirkby-in-Cleveland before moving into their first home in Ruth’s home village. David and Ruth remained in North Yorkshire until, when they headed north to be closer to David’s family in Shieldhill.
The pair have called the village home since the 1960s and have only ever moved as far as a second address on Main Street.
Having left the army in 1948 after three years, David held positions with a number of construction firms north and south of the Border, while his wife earned a living at Our Herbert’s Bakery in Stokesly and Matheson’s when she moved to Scotland.
Away from work, the couple count walking, cycling and camping trips to Cornwall and Devon among their favourite pastimes.
A dab hand in the kitchen, Ruth was named the winner of the annual Braes bake-off World Clootie Dumpling championships three years on the spin, first collecting the gong in 2015.
When asked how she and her husband have lasted 70 years together, Ruth said: “By keeping ourselves occupied and feeding one another.”
Likewise, David opted for the duo’s love of food when pushed on the secret to a happy mariage and said: “Having a good cook!”