Couple, 89 and 86, get married three decades

Bill and Jane celebrate with family and friends. Picture: HEMEDIA/SWNS Group

Bill and Jane celebrate with family and friends. Picture: HEMEDIA/SWNS Group

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A Capital couple who have known each other since they were teenagers have proved it’s never too late to tie the knot as they became Scotland’s oldest newlyweds.

Grandmother-of-two Jane Pollock, 89, and retired crane driver Bill Burnett, 86, have been together for 30 years, but finally got married in front of family and friends at South Leith Parish Church yesterday.

Tearful Jane said: “I refused him twice but we’ve been together for such a long time that I eventually agreed. I feel great and it’s been everything I hoped for.”

Widower Bill said: “I could not have lived without her. Jane is beautiful and easy-going with me. She is everything I want.”

The couple, from Giles Street, have lived in Leith all their lives. Both are previously married with children.

Bill’s wife passed away in the 1970s and Jane divorced from her first husband about 40 years ago.

They had known each other since their teens, but started courting after meeting again at the Dockers’ Social Club in Academy Street, where they held their reception yesterday.

Silver-haired Bill, looking dashing in an olive green suit, was waiting nervously at the altar yesterday with best man George Meikle, 73.

Moments later his bride, dressed in a rose-coloured suit, was pushed up the aisle in a wheelchair by her two grandsons, Richard, 42, and Keith Myles, 40. Daughter Carol Boyne, 66, was bridesmaid.

As the couple exchanged their vows and Bill put a ring on Jane’s finger, she fought back “tears of happiness”.

She said afterwards: “Bill has taken me on journeys all over the world including Singapore, South Africa and we’ve even sailed the Suez Canal. But for our honeymoon we’ll just stay here in Leith.

“I knew him when we were younger. We just stayed around the corner from each other. My brother was friendly with Bill and they used to go golfing together.”

Jane worked as a land girl during the Second World War and later worked as a demonstrator in a number of shops, including Grays of 
Edinburgh.

Bill admits he has never ventured “far or often” from Leith, where he was a crane driver at the docks. He has two daughters, Margaret, 58, and Patricia, 60, a son, Brian, 62, and four grandchildren.

The Reverend Iain May, who conducted the wedding, said: “It is such a joy to bring two people together and just shows you that love and marriage is something that can happen at any stage in your life.”

AGE IS NO BARRIER

THE record for the world’s oldest bride and groom belongs to 95-year-old Lillian Hartley and Allan Marks, 98, who married in California last year.

The oldest recorded bride was Australian Minnie Munro, 102, who married Dudley Reid, 83, at Point Clare, New South Wales, in 1991.

The couple with the highest aggregate age were Francois Frenandez, 96, and Madeleine Francineau, 94, who exchanged vows at Clapiers, France, with a total combined age of 190 years, 126 days.