When Jimmy met Sally . . and then wed soon after

Sally and Jimmy McDonald

Sally and Jimmy McDonald

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A couple from the Capital are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary next month.

Jimmy and Sally McDonald met in 1951 at a cafe in the city centre when they were out with friends, and became a couple a short time later.

Sally, who was born in Cardenden in Fife in 1934, moved to the Capital at the age of four, when her mother got a job in the public service. By then her father, a miner, had died of pneumonia, leaving her and her younger sister.

After school, she went on to do office work.

Jimmy was born two years earlier in Edinburgh in 1932, and had two brothers and two sisters. Born with osteomyelitis in his leg, he completed seven months of national service, before being discharged. He then went on to work in the maltings.

The couple were married at Hunter Square Register Office in 1952. Times were hard, and the newlyweds struggled to find a home of their own.

“We stayed in rooms for a while, because it was hard getting a house, much like today really,” said Sally.

After their son James was born in 1953, the couple eventually moved into a sub-let on Montgomery Street whilst Sally was pregnant with daughter Diane, who arrived in 1954.

They stayed there for a while, moving to a “single-end” on Spittle Street after their third child, Donald, was born in 1955.

With three children, it was quite a squeeze – “like a dormitory,” Sally said – and the couple continued to search for a bigger house, which they eventually found in Broughton Street.

Their fourth child, Elizabeth, was born in 1957.

Jimmy worked in the building trade on and off for a few years, whilst Sally went on to work for the Scottish War Blinded for 21 years until she was made redundant.

Later, Jimmy went on to work for Inveresk Envelope, and then Lothian Region Buses until an accident forced medical retirement in 1984.

Sally continued to work, however, enjoying her job at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for 12 years until her retirement in 1996.

Before bad health took its toll, Jimmy was heavily involved with the Navy Club, where the pair had many friends, as well as the golf team and domino club.

Sally still enjoys a healthy social life, meeting friends and going for the odd game of bingo.

After 60 years, the couple have eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The pair plan to celebrate the milestone anniversary quietly next month at son Donald’s home.