It was love at first sight when Donnie MacAngus and Anna Rae met ... but it signalled the start of a long-distance romance.
Every Friday evening for two years, Donnie would ride his motorbike from his home in Kinlochleven, Argyll, to Carronside Street, Bainsford, to spend the weekend with Anna and her family before making the long journey back.
He said: “I did that trip in all weathers. There were no helmets or special clothing in those days and when I got home, my face would be scarlet from the wind and rain, while I often had to wring the water out of my clothes.”
But all his efforts were rewarded and on September 5, 1952 the couple were married in Bainsford Parish Church.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with their family in a Lake District hotel.
Anna (81), the youngest of seven, sang from an early age with two sisters and her dad. During the war, they travelled the length of the country entertaining the troops as part of ENSA concert parties.
Her love of singing and performing saw her join the BA concert party and it was while on a trip to Kinlochleven to the British Aluminium plant there that the couple first met.
Donnie (87) said: “I was in the audience and when she came on stage, I turned to my friend and said I fancied her. A fortnight later she came up for a holiday with a friend and by chance we met at a dance.”
Anna remembers telling her friend that if she didn’t get a six foot tall dancing partner during the holiday, then she wouldn’t be back. But little did she think that she would get a lifelong partner.
She had initially worked in the labs at the ICI, before getting a job at the BA in Bainsford where she operated a crane.
Their wedding reception took place in the Temperance Hotel in Falkirk.
Unfortunately Anna hadn’t realised it was a no-alcohol establishment and many of the guests who had made the long-trip from Kinlochleven spent the evening nipping across to the Newmarket Bar.
Donnie was a bricklayer at the BA and when he moved to Falkirk got a job with Grahamston Iron Foundry before moving four years later to Kelvin Construction as a foreman.
During the war he served in the Royal Navy and was on a motor torpedo boat that sank with the loss of half its crew.
The couple lived with Anna’s family before moving to Oswald Street, then over 50 years ago to their present home in Derwent Avenue, Bantaskine. They have three children, Donald, Caroline and Calum, four grandchildren and are looking forward to the birth of their first great-grandchild in November.
Their secret for a long and happy marriage? “We’re totally different: I’m an extrovert and Donnie’s the quiet one, but that’s why we get on. I’ve always loved going to clubs and dances, while he prefers golf. But it works.”