As soon as Louis Knowles set eyes on Janet MacMenigall in September 1953, he said to himself: “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.”
And now, six decades later, the happy couple are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
Louis and Janet first met when they both worked for McVities Guest in Orwell Terrace.
He was a van boy and Janet was an office girl – but it was love at first sight and it wasn’t long before the teenage couple started dating.
Their favourite things to do together were dance at the Palais De Danse in Fountainbridge and go to the pictures on a regular basis.
When Louis turned 18, in January 1954, he was called up to do his National Service.
He joined the Royal Air Force for three years and was stationed at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk.
But while he was there, he and Janet kept in contact every day by exchanging letters.
Louis, now 80, said: “I must have proposed in one of my letters as after approximately two years I received a letter from Janet to say we were getting married at Currie Kirk on January 14, 1956.
“I was surprised but absolutely delighted. I spent all my time on leave with Janet and had a wonderful time.”
Whilst Louis was still in the RAF, the couple’s first child, Susan, was born on their first wedding anniversary.
They lived with Janet’s parents at Drumsheugh Gardens for the first six years of their marriage before they got their own council house in Redhall. In 1962, their second child, Scott, was born.
Louis recalled: “Life was hard at times, it took us three years before we could even rent a television.”
Over the years, Janet – now 78 – had many part-time jobs and latterly retired from the civil service after 24 years.
Louis also had many jobs, but after retiring he worked part-time in the Shandon snooker club for 13 years.
The couple, who now live at Hutchison Cottages, Slateford, and are grandparents, have always enjoyed sport.
Janet was a keen bowler and was a member of the Civil Service Club and Fountain Bowling Club – serving on various committees.
She was also president of the Civil Service Club and secretary of the Fountain Bowling Club. Louis played snooker and golf most of his life – winning the East of Scotland Snooker Championship in 1962 and the East of Scotland Billiards Championship 2013.
He still plays billiards every Tuesday and Friday at the Corn Exchange, which was founded by the late Bert Demarco Senior, who was a long-time friend of his.
Louis said: “There have been many ups and downs throughout our 60 years of marriage, but I wouldn’t have wanted to go through them with anyone else.”