Bill celebrates his 100th and 74 years with Gina

Bill and Gina Wood celebrate the double milestone with Bill's card from the Queen. Picture: Alistair Pryde
Bill and Gina Wood celebrate the double milestone with Bill's card from the Queen. Picture: Alistair Pryde
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Former garageman Bill Wood recently reached his 100th birthday and on Sunday he and wife Gina will celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary.

Born on May 27, 1914, Bill Wood was the middle child of three; he has survived his two sisters, Rita and Jean.

His father ran the Maidencraig dairy farm in Blackhall, then surrounded by fields.

Bill went to Daniel Stewart’s College and then worked with his father on the farm before it was turned into Maidencraig Garage in 1938 to cater for the growing number of motorists. He trained as a mechanic and continued working there.

Gina Morrison was born in Gorgie and went to Gorgie School.

The couple met when they went on a blind date and were married two years later at Grosvenor Street registry office in 1943.

Gina, who had worked as a tea merchant importing and exporting tea, later joined her husband at the garage, where they worked until retirement in 1979.

Gina said: “Bill worked seven days a week, but it wasn’t so bad because I was there in the later years.”

They lived first in Davidson’s Mains, moving to Blackhall in 1961, close to the garage, which was passed on to Bill by his father.

Bill and Gina had a family of three – Bill, Anne and Janet. They in turn provided the couple with seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Daughter Janet said: “Mum grew up with her grandparents, not knowing her own natural parents, and I think she put as much love as she could into bringing up her own family because of that.

“We never wanted for anything but we were never handed everything on a plate either.”

Son Bill took over the garage 
from his father, but sold it in 1999 to tyre and exhaust entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer, who has kept the original Maidencraig farmhouse and turned it into modern office accommodation which serves as 
the headquarters for Farmer Autocare.

Bill and Gina both kept fit after retirement, Bill regularly walking out to the Forth Bridge and Gina attending keep-fit classes into her 80s.

For the past year they have lived at Linlithgow Care Home. Until then, the sprightly couple looked after themselves at home but Bill’s eyesight started to fail and they needed a little more help.

There was a party at the home to mark Bill’s 100th birthday, attended by many of the family. Son Bill now lives in Newton village, West Lothian; Anne is in Felixstowe; and Janet in Bath.

The party was kicked off by Linlithgow Academy piper Ben Miller, 14. West Lothian Lord Provost Tom Kerr and Lord Lieutenant Isobel Brydie presented gifts and a card from the Queen.