WATTIE and Mamie Fairbairn from Whitecraig, East Lothian, have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Wattie Fairbairn was born in Musselburgh in 1931, the son of a fisherman. His mother worked in a nearby boys’ home and Wattie went to Burgh School in Musselburgh.
Mamie Blackwood was born in Wallyford two years later, in 1933, but moved with her family to Whitecraig when she was just six months old. Her father was a miner at Smeaton colliery, near Dalkeith, and her mother worked in the fields.
Mamie went to Crookston school, just outside Whitecraig.
The couple first met in the early 1950s. After school, Wattie had got a job driving lorries taking workers to local farms to pick fruit and vegetables and collecting them again at the end of the day.
One of the workers he ferried to and from the fields was Mamie. They got to know each other, began dating and on April 3, 1954, they were married in the former manse at Musselburgh.
Wattie joined the army and the couple moved to England, where they settled in Welwyn Garden City – but after a while returned to East Lothian.
Daughter Ann Dixon says: “The army wanted him to stay on and he could have got promotion, but he came out – my mum was keen to get back up here.”
They moved back to Whitecraig in 1955 and Ann was born later that year. A son, William, followed but he sadly died when he was only nine months old. The couple later had two other daughters, Lorraine and Wilma.
Wattie worked as a ploughman, later spent many years in the building trade and also worked in a local paper mill. While bringing up the family, Mamie worked part-time in the fields and shared childcare reponsibilities with her sister.
Ann recalls: “One would work in the mornings and the other would do the afternoons, so there was always someone to look after the kids.”
Later Mamie had a range of jobs, working in a cotton mill, at Duncan’s chocolate factory in Powderhall, Edinburgh, and at Laidlaw and Fairgrieve woollen mill in Dalkeith.
The couple were enthusiastic bowlers, playing regularly at Deantown bowling club in Whitecraig with Mamie winning several championships. They were also keen dancers.
But they have been taking things more quietly in recent years.
They still live in Whitecraig and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their marriage, Wattie and Mamie were joined by their seven grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren for a family party at the Brigadoon in Tranent.