Diamond couple met at the age of 14

Roderick McLean and wife Janet will celebrate with their family. Picture: comp
Roderick McLean and wife Janet will celebrate with their family. Picture: comp
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Diamond couple Roderick and Janet McLean are celebrating 60 years of happy marriage.

They will mark the occasion when their entire family comes together at the Tusitala restaurant in Fairmilehead for a special party next month.

Roderick, who was born in Leith, first met Janet when the pair were just 14 years old at a dance hall in the Capital.

Now grandparents of five, they turned 81 last year, and revealed that the secret to a long and happy marriage was “the love that they share for each other and their family”.

Janet added: “We have always supported each other and had tremendous support from our children.”

Roderick began his education at Roseburn Primary School before stepping up to Tynecastle Secondary.

When he left, it was to begin a career with the Evening News, working with printers in the machine room.

One of his colleagues at the time was a certain Sean Connery, although they weren’t workmates for long, with Connery soon heading off towards the bright lights of Hollywood.

Roderick spent more than 40 years with the Evening News and the Scotsman, working his way up the ranks to become what was known in the trade as an “Adam” – officially, a machine minder and overseer at the newspapers’ former printers in Newhaven Road.

After leaving school, Janet worked as a layer at Blackwood Printers for a number of years until she married Roderick on March 6, 1954.

An old rule laid down by the Scottish Typographical Union meant she had to leave her post at the age of 21.

Janet went on to work in a number of part-time jobs, including at Dundee Street Post Office and Yeaman Place Bakers.

The couple have four children – three boys and a girl – and also have four grandsons and one granddaughter.

They live in Polwarth and have plenty of relatives nearby.

Some of their fondest memories have come from spending holidays together.

Roderick recalled: “About 30 years ago, we went on our first foreign holiday with my sister and brother in law.

“This was all the better because we were used to just going to Anstruther every summer with our children and although we had many happy memories we will cherish forever, that cruise really was the best.”

Roderick and Janet enjoy spending time with their family and their weekly visits to the Austin Social Club, where he is a founding member.

Although, they joke that despite his influence, it did take a bit of time for Janet, as a woman, to finally be accepted as a member, adding: “It was the 60s after all.”