Family help Grangemouth’s Willie mark his big 100th

Willie Dickson
Willie Dickson

A great, great granddad and greyhound racing fan celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday (Wednesday) with family and friends.

Grangemouth man Willie Dickson was born just after the outbreak of the First World War and would later serve his country in World War Two as a quartermaster in the 1st Battalion Glasgow Highlanders.

Telegram from the Queen in his hand in his Douglas Avenue home, portonian Willie was joined by wife Elizabeth (90), who he married back in 1949, eldest son Andrew (64), visiting from his home Australia, and youngest son Peter (61) for the big day.

“I won’t be having a party or anything like that,” said Willie, who does not get out much any more. “Maybe folk will come and see me and I’ll just welcome visitors. I never thought I would reach 100, but I’m a non-smoker and only really drink at New Year.”

The former Dundas School pupil left Grangemouth High School at 14 and started working for local shipping firm Salvesen, eventually rising to the post of general manager after his return from wartime service.

Willie, who was 96 before he gave up driving a car, would regularly visit Powderhall Stadium in Edinburgh and Shawfield Stadium in Cambuslang to watch the greyhound racing, enjoying many a great night at the dogs.

Willie is the head of a family that now covers five generations. He and Elizabeth have three grandchildren, two great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild.

Having lived through the hardships of the First World War and the Great Depression, risked his life in World War Two and seen major technological and cultural changes throughout his 100 years on the planet, Willie admitted he was concerned about his family’s future with all conflict going on in the world at the moment.

He said: “I just don’t know how it’s all going to end the way things are going.”