Couple who wed in 1950s Edinburgh reveal no arguing as secret to happy marriage

They first met in the late 1950s when dance halls were flourishing across Edinburgh, Jenners on Princes Street was the place to be seen and the Edinburgh International Festival was still a bit of a novelty.

By Shan Ross
Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 4:45 pm
Ronnie and Ella on their wedding day. Picture: contributed
Ronnie and Ella on their wedding day. Picture: contributed

Now Ronnie and Ella Gilfillan who have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in a city care home have revealed the secret to their long and happy marriage.

Ella, 87, said that her husband had "never been one to argue" and that "they always take the good with the bad".

Ronnie, 88, moved to live at HC-One's Victoria Manor Care Home in Albert Street, Leith, which focuses on people needing nursing care and those with dementia, in March 2020.

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Ella, who was frail, then moved there in August of the same year so that they could spend the rest of their lives together.

Family and staff made their anniversary celebration this week extra special by creating a photograph wall of memories as well as a personalised cake, balloons and decorations.

Their daughter Linda Gill said: "We all really wanted to make a real effort for this year's anniversary as last year my mum and dad were separated due to the Covid lockdown.

"The lovely thing is that they can be together and sit and chat to each other."

The couple met over 65 years ago when they were both working for Scottish Gas at its headquarters in Waterloo Place.

The building is now Howies, a restaurant, and the pair would often visit there to remember the good old days.

They were married at the Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile on July 6, 1957 and went on to have two daughters - Linda and Lorna.

Ronnie and Ella were delighted to return to the Kirk to watch Lorna marry her husband Andrew Coe in 2009.

They have two grandchildren Daniel and Stephanie. Daniel is Lorna and her husband Andrew's son, while Stephanie's parents are Linda and David.

Ronnie and Ella's outside interests over the years have included playing an active role in their church community at St Paul's Church in Leith and then Pilrig St Paul's Church.