A diamond day for Rita and her ‘toyboy’ husband

George says he and Rita have worked as a 'team' since their wedding day
George says he and Rita have worked as a 'team' since their wedding day
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Friends and family are travelling from as far afield as Spain to help a Capital couple celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

George and Margaret “Rita” Findlater will welcome a grandaughter and two great grandsons from Spain, as well as friends and family from England, Wales and northern Scotland. They will celebrate with a meal and evening of entertainment at Ellersly House Hotel, near Murrayfield.

The oldest guest will be a 90-year-old friend, while the youngest will be their eight-month-old great granddaughter.

George and Rita were both born in Aberdeen. Rita was born in November 1928 to Keir and Annie Eliza Shepherd, while her “toyboy” husband was born more than three years later in July 1932.

George was the youngest of three boys born to Maggie and William Findlater, and his father supported the family by driving trams in Aberdeen.

Both attended Hilton School, a combined primary and secondary school in Aberdeen, though neither knew the other at the time.

The pair met while attending a local youth club and started dating, frequently going to the cinema or to dance halls.

They married at Hilton High Church on July 28, 1952, after courting for 18 months.

Just months later George began his National Service but was lucky enough not to be separated from his new wife. After training in Dorset with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, he was the only member of his intake to receive a posting closer to home, undertaking his two-year stint in Edinburgh. The couple had two daughters while living in Aberdeen, Norma and Gwen.

George had begun his working life after leaving school as an agricultural millwright, making threshing machines and grain equipment. In 1963 a change of job brought the couple to Edinburgh. After living in Tollcross they moved to Sighthill, where they still live.

A third child, a son called Malcolm, was born after the move to the Capital but at the age of just six he was tragically killed after being hit by a lorry on Calder Road.

George worked in a number of engineering jobs, including at the Caledonian Brewery and DCL maltings in Kirkliston.

After being made redundant in 1988 he became a handyman at the Compass Adventure centre before retiring eight years ago to care for his wife, who was diagnosed with dementia.

George puts the longevity of their relationship down to “teamwork”. He said: “You have to work as a team and there’s a lot of give and take. You might have the odd tantrum but it’s all sorted out on a good night’s sleep.

“When we married I had no idea we would last so long. The years go on and you think ‘Gosh, there’s another one’ until you reach 60. We are very lucky.”