Big surprise awaits diamond couple

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A DIAMOND wedding couple will be whisked off to a surprise location by friends and family to mark their milestone.

Maureen and George Ryce celebrated their diamond wedding last Thursday, having married at the Manse in Linlithgow 60 years ago.

However, the real party is due to take place this weekend.

A sparkling celebration is understood to be in the offing – but just what it will involve and where it will be held is a closely-guarded secret as friends and family do not want to spoil the surprise.

Maureen, 78, chose to reminisce about her fantastic wedding day. She said: “The wedding didn’t take place in the church because it was going
to be communion on the Sunday and all the pews were set up for that.

“The minister, Rev Rutherford, asked if it would be okay for the wedding to take place at the Manse instead.”

The service was followed by a reception at the Chalmers Hall at Linlithgow Bridge.

Maureen said: “It was a great wedding. My mum and dad knew a chap who played the accordion and it went like a ceilidh.”

The couple met a few years earlier at the dancing in the Town Hall.

Maureen, then 16, worked at the paper mill, and George had just returned from National Service in the army.

Despite living close by – Maureen in Millerfield and George on the Main Street – their paths had never crossed.

The couple renovated a house in the Main Street and then married after Maureen turned 18.

The couple later moved to Mill Road, where they have stayed since 1967. They have two children – Elaine, 58, who is married to Gordon Inglis, and Ian, 56, who is married to Isabel, and three grandchildren, Darren and Laura Inglis and Scott Ryce.

There are also two great-grandchildren – Darren’s daughter with partner Louise, Layla, four, and a new great-grandson courtesy of Laura and partner Graham – Aiden – who was born on April 14.

Isabel, who lives close by, said: “They get on really well. I find them quite a comical couple. But in other respects they are just a normal every day couple.

“We are a very close-knit family. My sister-in-law Elaine and her husband stay in the same street. They live about four doors away from us, and my in-laws stay across the road in the corner.”

Asked why her in-laws had such a long and happy marriage, she joked: “I’m sure my father-in-law has selective hearing.”

She added: “The celebration will actually be this weekend but I can’t really say more than that at the moment.”