Blind date that led to golden marriage

Jim Salton and Ann Watt celebrate. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Jim Salton and Ann Watt celebrate. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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A Dalkeith couple have celebrated 50 years of married life.

When Jim Salton and Ann Watt went out for the first time more than half a century ago it was a memorable experience for them both.

The couple were on a blind date – and little did they know that their first brief encounter would be a lasting match.

Recently the Saltons celebrated their golden anniversary and 50 years of wedded bliss in their native Dalkeith.

Ann recalled how they got together all those years ago.

She said: “We met through a friend of Jim’s and it was arranged as a blind date.

“I can’t exactly remember where we went, although Jim used to like going to the greyhounds at Powderhall, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there.

“It would probably have been the pictures in Dalkeith.

“But that didn’t matter because I just thought Jim was really nice and he gave me a good impression.”

Two years later, they were married in St John’s and King’s Park Church in Dalkeith on August 7, 1965.

Ann remembers that it wasn’t only a big day for her and Jim, but also a big day in the town’s calender.

She said: “I’ll always remember it was the day of the Dalkeith barbecue. Because when we went outside the church to get our pictures taken the parade was passing by on the road.”

The Saltons had their reception that evening at the Eskdale Rooms in Musselburgh and honeymooned in Callendar.

After working as a miner for ten years, Jim took up a career as a school janitor, working at St David’s and King’s Park schools as well as at Esk Valley College. He retired as janitor at Woodburn Primary School.

Ann worked for Ferranti at first, but moved on to work at Marks & Spencer in Princes Street, Edinburgh, spending 22 years with the retail company before taking early retirement.

Jim, 79, and Ann, 69, who live in Cowden Crescent, have two daughters, Julie and Fiona, and also a grandson, Conor, 13. So, what’s the secret of the Dalkeith couple’s 50-year partnership? Ann said: “Oh, we just seem to get along fine and we keep pretty well, health-wise. We’re happy to go out walking, although Jim doesn’t do as much galavanting as me, and I also like swimming, travelling and shopping.”

The couple are planning to celebrate their wedding anniversary with a trip to Blackpool with their family.

Campbell Hutcheson