Wed 75 years and still going strong

Charlie and Margaret celebrated at home. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Charlie and Margaret celebrated at home. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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EAST Lothian couple Charlie and Margaret Mack have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Charlie Mack was born in Prestonpans 97 years ago while Margaret was born in nearby Port Seton four years later.

The couple first met in 1938 when they both attended the Prestonpans Wheelers bicycle club, which has long since been disbanded. The group would cycle to places such as Dunbar and Peebles for the afternoon.

Charlie owned a tandem with his brother, and an intrigued Margaret asked him to take her for a short ride along the coast. A date to the cinema quickly followed for the pair and just over a year later they were married.

They wed at a marriage office in Edinburgh’s Chambers Street on January 27, 1940, just a few months after the outbreak of the Second World War.

As a miner Charlie was exempt from military service because men were needed at home during the conflict.

The couple have lived in Cockenzie and Port Seton all their married lives. After tying the knot, they set up home in the miners’ houses in Crown Square, Cockenzie.

They then moved to South Seton Park and later to their current home, a bungalow in Thomson Crescent.

Charlie worked as a miner for more than 40 years at Preston Links and Monktonhall collieries, and Margaret worked for her brother John Thomson, who ran his own fishmonger’s business, as a fish filleter, before the arrival of their children, Andrew, Ella and Beth.

Five years ago, when they celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary – 70 years of marriage – the couple had a service of blessing with the local minister at Cockenzie and Port Seton Old Parish Church before a gathering with friends and family at the Port Seton Centre. There was a congratulatory message from the Queen and East Lothian deputy lord lieutenant, Marlene Love, paid tribute to the couple.

Margaret said at the time she often felt they had “missed out on a religious ceremony” by getting married in a registry office.

“That was why I said to him we should have our marriage blessed,” she said. “It was a really lovely occasion.” This week, Charlie, 97, and Margaret, 93, marked 75 years of happy marriage.

The couple, who have six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, had a quiet celebration at home in Thomson Crescent.

“People ask us what our secret is, but we just take every day as it comes.

“We are lucky to have a good family who help us along,” said Margaret.