Real Lives: Bus trip to Hawick leads to 60 years of marriage

Oliver and Jean Chisholme toast diamond celebration.
Oliver and Jean Chisholme toast diamond celebration.
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A COUPLE who met by chance on a bus have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Oliver Chisholme, 83, a former accountant and Territorial Army paymaster, and his wife, Jean, 79, were married in St Andrews Church, Galashiels, on March 28, 1952.

The couple, who now live in Dalkeith, met after sitting down next to each other during a bus trip to Hawick. Oliver was doing National Service training at Dreghorn Barracks and would regularly make the journey to the Borders town from Edinburgh.

The pair struck up a conversation and continued to meet during social occasions at dance halls in Hawick.

“We would dance together quite often and then, by coincidence, we were both invited to a New Year’s party,” said Oliver. “We were playing some murder mystery game, and we just took it from there.

“I remember that Jean was just so full of life and such good company – and, of course, very good looking!”

The couple celebrated their anniversary with friends and family last week with lunch at the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh followed by wine and cake at Newbattle Golf Club in Dalkeith.

Oliver was born in Hawick, where he attended primary and high school before taking his accountancy exams in Edinburgh.

A stint as paymaster with the Territorial Army in Arbroath followed before Oliver secured a job with a chartered accountancy firm in Castle Douglas in 1966. He remained with the company until he retired as a senior partner in 1994.Jean was born in Galashiels where she went to primary school and, later, Galashiels Academy.

A trained seamstress, she took her first job at Clerk’s tailors in Galashiels before moving to the Co-op where she completed a five-year apprenticeship. She later gave up work to look after son Douglas and daughter Elaine.

Jean said: “It feels like only yesterday that we were married. We’ve always been great friends and we always wanted to do everything together.

“Like everybody else, we’ve had our ups and downs over the years but you just get on with it.”

Oliver said the couple have made many friends in Dalkeith and feel very happy there, especially with Douglas and Elaine living nearby.

He added: “It’s wonderful to get to this stage – it’s very difficult to put into words how it feels. Jean has been a tremendous support, looking after the children over the years. I’ve quite often been working late at night and, with the Territorial Army, I would have to go away for two-week stretches to camps all over the place.

“But when you are married you take certain values – to stand by each other in sickness and in health and so on – and we have really tried to keep to them.”