Larbert couple celebrate 70 years of marriage

A Larbert husband and wife are in seventh heaven after celebrating 70 years of marriage.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 4:30 pm

Thomas and Margaret Walker, née Jack, say love, humour and understanding enabled them to reach their Platinum Wedding on Tuesday, August 17.

The former, known as Tom, 92, and his 91-year-old wife will officially mark the milestone at a private gathering with their loved ones this Saturday.

Hailing from Camelon, the Walkers both went to Camelon Primary School, however, were in different classes.

Tom and Margaret Walker pictured on their wedding day in 1951. Contributed.

The duo first met when Tom joined the Boys’ Brigade in the Irving Church Hall in Camelon, which was founded by his future wife’s dad, James, who’d sometimes be accompanied by his daughter to its Friday drill nights.

Both Tom and Margaret became pupils at Falkirk Technical School, although it wasn’t until Tom was home on Army leave in 1947 that they met again and he suggested a date.

The couple married in Falkirk West Church and honeymooned in Lossiemouth, which would become their favourite holiday destination.

Initially they acquired accommodation in Camelon’s Carmuirs Drive but, as Tom worked in the wages department of Jones and Campbell in Larbert, they soon moved into a company house in Main Street, Larbert and have remained in the town since.

Larbert husband and wife Tom and Margaret Walker are celebrating their Platinum Wedding. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Tom then became a factory accountant with Remploy, a government supported organisation providing employment for disabled ex-servicemen and women.

After being made redundant in 1984, he applied to the University of Stirling aged 56 and graduated with a BSc in psychology.

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In the meantime, Margaret worked full-time as a private dental secretary in the NHS.

Away from employment, the pair also led busy lives as Tom served as senior auditor to the Scottish Labour Party for 35 years and was a councillor with Stirling County Council.

He also served as a Justice of the Peace for approximately 60 years.

Margaret pursued a career as a trained soprano and became a frequent soloist with the Caledonia Choir, going on to sing at the BBC and share platforms with Bill McCue, among others.

The Walkers became parents in 1954 when daughter Marianne was born, followed by siblings Elaine in 1955 and Christine in 1960. Sadly, Marianne died in 2018.

The family grew in number with the arrivals of grandchildren Peter, Maja and Natalie, who Tom and Margaret have doted on.

Keen ballroom dancers when young, they developed a passion for various interests over the years.

Margaret began volunteering as a computer buddy to help adults improve their internet skills following her retirement, while Tom was a well-known speaker on the Burns circuit.

In 1997, Tom underwent a triple bypass which led to his attending a rehabilitation class at Falkirk Royal Infirmary where he was invited to join Braveheart, an organisation dedicated to the well-being of former cardiac patients.

After a period of training, Tom graduated as a senior health mentor and offered guidance on the illness.

Eighteen years later, he was asked to an Age Concern conference where was interviewed by journalist Angela Rippon on positive ageing.

In the same year, he was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen as a representative of the Braveheart project.

Listing the key ingredients for a happy marriage, Tom said: “We don’t always agree, but through love and a great deal of humour and understanding, compromises are always available.”

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