Devoted couple’s 75-year marriage

Bill and Gina with Provost Tom Keir on Bill's 100th birthday

Bill and Gina with Provost Tom Keir on Bill's 100th birthday

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A LOTHIAN garageman has marked his 75th wedding anniversary – only months after reaching his 100th birthday.

Bill Wood joined his wife, Gina, and family members to celebrate the milestone at Linlithgow Care Home, West Lothian, where the couple are residents.

The pair got to know each other after being introduced by friends during a blind date two years prior to their wedding at the Capital’s Grosvenor Street registry office on July 6, 1940.

Bill and Gina have three children – Bill, Anne and Janet – and have a large extended family which boasts seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

They have been living at Linlithgow Care Home since just before Bill’s 100th birthday.

The couple looked after themselves while living independently – when both participated in walking and fitness classes – but Bill’s eyesight began to deteriorate and he realised that assisted accommodation would benefit him and his wife.

Bill received his education at Daniel Stewart’s College and then worked with his father on a farm before it was turned into a garage in 1938 because of the growth in the motor industry.

He later trained as a mechanic, with Gina joining him at the garage after spending years as a tea merchant. His wife spent her early years in Gorgie, where she attended the local school.

Both Bill and Gina, who lived in the Capital for many years, continued working until their retirement in 1979.

The couple first had a home in Davidson’s Mains, then moved to Blackhall in 1961 to be closer to the garage. Their son, Bill, took over the garage after his parents’ retirement, but sold it to entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer in 1999.

When Bill celebrated his 100th birthday, many members of the family took part in festivities at the couple’s care home. The party included local guests and a piper, and Bill received his card from the Queen to celebrate becoming a centenarian.

Family members said that this year’s celebration would be more relaxed, with relatives in town to celebrate with the couple and enjoy a drink and conversation.

They said the couple still kept very well given that Bill is a centenarian and his wife is pushing 100.

Daughter Janet said: “Dad very much enjoys his whisky. He can’t drink too much, but he still likes to reminisce. They’re still a loving couple.”

Janet lives in Bath, England, and her sister, Anne, in Felixstowe.

The two take turns every four weeks to visit Bill and Gina, while their brother, Bill, is based near the care home so he can check up on them regularly. The two daughters said they were committed to making the flight up for special occasions.