Polmont’s Jim and Jean Hardie said 60 years of wedded bliss is down to having a sense of humour during the good and bad times.
The couple, who have known each other since their days at Winchburgh’s junior and secondary school, celebrated their diamond wedding last Thursday.
After leaving school Jim, who was from South Queensferry, worked in the plant hire industry for the Miller Group, while Jean, who lived in a cottage in the Denny hills, cut her teeth as an apprentice tailoress with Aitken & Niven in Edinburgh.
They met again at a local barn dance and began courting before their love for each other was sewn up when they tied the knot on July 10, 1954, at Carriden Church in Bo’ness.
Jim joked: “I had sore knees at the time so the proposal wasn’t down on one knee.”
Jean said: “People say their long marriage is down to listening to each other – ours has been not listening to each other.
“I’m the serious one, but I think having a good laugh has helped us through our marriage. We’ve always managed to face things together and look at the positives in life.”
The honeymoon was spent in Strathyre, near Callander, but it didn’t all go to plan on one of their day trips.
Jim said: “We walked from Strathyre up to Rob Roy’s grave in Balquhidder, which is a fair few miles, but there was no bus coming back the way. Our feet were very sore that night.”
Their first child, Jim junior, was born in 1958, but tragically died of leukaemia in 1960. Daughter Jane came along three years later, followed by Fiona the year after.
The couple lived on the Hopetoun Estate before moving to Polmont in 1970 where Jim joined Wallacestone Pipe Band and Jean became a “pipe band widow”.
Jean’s skills were also put to good use running a sewing class in the Greenpark Centre for 30 years.