‘Golden girls’ enjoy a lasting friendship

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SHARING nearly seven decades of memories, Mary McNaughton, Anne Simpson and Ann McNulty know a thing or two about friendship.

Having grown up together in Davidson’s Mains in the early 1940s, they have seen many changes over the years.

And through the ups and downs, they have been a constant in each other’s lives.

As Mrs McNaughton approaches her 75th birthday, the trio has been reflecting on a lifelong friendship.

Mrs McNaughton and Mrs Simpson were schooled at Cramond, while Ms McNulty went to St Margaret’s Convent in Marchmont.

The friendships blossomed when Ms McNulty’s mother, worried that her daughter would feel isolated because she went to school elsewhere, asked Mrs McNaughton’s mum if their children could be friends.

“We all lived locally and lived near each other. Our mothers met when they were doing the shopping,” said Mrs McNaughton. “Davidson’s Mains was a village then.”

The trio reflected on simpler times, when holidays were far less exotic than commonly seen now, but just as much fun.

Mrs McNaughton said: “I once went on holiday with Anne’s family to Leven in Fife, when her brother was just a baby.

“We were sent for a shop by Anne’s grandmother. I remember dragging the shopping back and then we realised that we’d left the baby outside the shop in the pram.”

Mrs McNaughton said she had fond memories of going to the old Playhouse cinema.

She said: “We used to have to pass the disreputable Fairley’s dance hall and Imperial Hotel up Leith Street. Mrs McNulty used to say ‘look left girls’ to avert our eyes.”

Ms McNulty still lives in the house she was born in at Davidson’s Mains, with her partner, Hew Trotter.

And although Mrs Simpson lived away while her husband, James, worked in airlines, they always kept in touch.

The grandmother-of-four, who used to work in the health service, returned to the Capital in the
early 1970s, settling in Corstorphine.

Mrs McNaughton and husband Dave worked for the Post Office throughout their careers, living in Colinton. Neither Ms McNulty, 73, nor Mrs McNaughton had children.

The “golden girls” – as they are dubbed by their other halves – are still deciding what to do for Mrs McNaughton’s 75th birthday in August. Mrs McNaughton said: “Maybe a posh afternoon tea somewhere. We don’t really believe that we are that age.”

“I notice it when I’m getting out of a taxi,” joked Miss McNulty, a former NHS employee.

Mrs Simpson, 73, said: “We are there for each other. But we do
not fall over each other all the
time.”

Mrs McNaughton added: “We are always there if we are needed.”