A tale of devotion and sugar almonds

Sandy and Jean Crookston

Sandy and Jean Crookston

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SANDY and Jean Crookston, from Blackburn, are celebrating 60 years of happiness.

The couple, who first met when they were 12 years old, marked their diamond wedding anniversary with a family party.

Sandy, 79, who comes from Polbeth, and Jean, 79, from Musselburgh, met at the Geggie cinema in Blackburn, where they were watching Gone With the Wind.

Sandy offered Jean one of his sugar almonds and their romance began.

He said: “I had moved to Blackburn when I was eight, and Jean got here when she was about ten. We used to go to the same school, but then we ended up going to different places.

“But we met again until we saw each other at the Blackburn Welfare Hall, which was used as a cinema.

“That was one of our hobbies along with cycling and going to church socials, we didn’t go to pubs or clubs or anything like that.

“Later, I was called up to the army and I said to Jean if I was to get leave we would get married.”

The couple got married at Blackburn Parish Church on July 4, 1953, but no sooner had they tied the knot than they had to spend time apart.

Sandy said: “We were married on the Saturday, on the Monday I was sent off to Egypt. It was another two-and-a-half years before we saw each other again.

“But when I came back it was like I had never been away – we never had any quarrels or anything, we just got on with things.

“Then we had our two girls and that was it.”

When Sandy returned from the army he worked as a butcher, working with Hall’s of Broxburn for 32 years until his retirement. Jean worked at Burton’s Biscuits and later as a machine operator at John Colliers at Whitehill Industrial Estate, before returning to Burton’s.

The couple, who have lived in the town for 50 years, now have two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

They celebrated their diamond anniversary at a family party in Bathgate.

Both have been actively involved with the church since their teens, and Sandy is now the warden at Blackburn and Seafield Parish Church.

They are a very devoted couple and enjoy spending time together.
“They have always been a very close couple,” said their daughter, Sandra.

The pair, who enjoy going for drives together to the seaside, reading and gardening, credit their long and happy marriage to never letting the sun go down on an argument.

Provost Tom Kerr presented the couple with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of West Lothian Council and Lord Lieutenant Isobel Brydie brought a card from the Queen.