A golden year for a champ and his wife

Bowling champ Frank Millan and his wife Rachel. Picture: contributed
Bowling champ Frank Millan and his wife Rachel. Picture: contributed
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A CHAMPION bowler and his wife are getting ready to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

Frank Millan, 73, and his wife, Rachel, 70, said they were overjoyed at reaching the milestone, which they plan to celebrate with family and friends during a bash at Baberton Golf Club.

The couple said the secret of their long-lasting marriage was honesty and fidelity.

“We’ve always been dedicated to each other – I don’t think we could have been happier than we were with each other,” said Frank.

Frank was born in Craigmillar on December 23, 1939, with Rachel arriving a few years later on June 6, 1942. Both grew up in tough circumstances during and after the Second World War, but Frank said the couple worked hard in their lives – both at school and work.

He attended Craigmillar Primary before moving on to Niddrie Marischal High. Rachel went to Saughton Mains primary and then Carrick Vale secondary.

The pair met as colleagues at William Thyne’s carton printer factory in Sighthill after Frank was taken on as an apprentice in 1960.

Frank said: “She was just a slim, good-looking girl, with her short hair. She was smart and tidy – a very nice girl.

“It was a wonderful time when we met. Thyne’s was a wonderful employer, very family oriented.

“Mr Thyne’s attitude was that he wanted houses built for employees beside the business premises and he would even give out interest free loans to his staff – he was that kind of man.”

The couple’s early dates were spent in the Palais dance hall in Fountainbridge.

“That’s where we went in those days,” said Frank. “I remember it was a massive dance hall – the biggest in Edinburgh at the time and 2000 people would have fitted in there no problem.”

Three years later, the couple tied the knot. It was the start of a rock-solid marriage during which they had three daughters – Susan, 43, Jennifer, 38 and Pamela, 36.

Frank, a three-time senior pairs champion at Balerno bowling club, said: “She’s been an absolutely dedicated wife – a great mother and grandmother. I couldn’t have had a happier life. We’ve never had great luxuries and we’ve had to work hard for whatever we’ve had.” Rachel said: “I feel very lucky as there aren’t many people in years to come who are going to reach this milestone. There seem to be few people who can go the distance these days and I feel very privileged to get this far.

“We’ve always supported each other and where our children were concerned, we always made sure the two of us always came to the same decision. He’s been a very good husband and father – considerate, keen to please, nothing’s a bother to him. Although he’s far too cheery in the morning.”