Loving Ratho couple all smiles at 70th wedding celebration

In 1949 the average price of a house was £1,802 and the average salary was under £6 per week – and it was the year that Marjorie and John from Ingliston tied the knot.

Marjorie and Johnny Gibson of Balerno who are celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary.
Marjorie and Johnny Gibson of Balerno who are celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary.

On August 6, the couple celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary after 70 years of marriage.

Marjorie, born Barbara Marjorie Graham Millar, was originally from West Linton, and John Archibald Gibson was born on Archwood Farm near Lochmaben, Dumfrieshire.

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John moved to Ingliston in 1931 from a small dairy farm and Marjorie’s family moved to the area in 1939, taking up residency in Ingliston Gardens opposite what now is the Royal Highland Showground.

After a spell assisting her aunt at Ratho Post Office and Telephone Exchange, Marjorie, now 94, was educated at Nelson Commercial College in Charlotte Square, which specialised in secretarial training, mainly typing, shorthand and bookkeeping.

John, now 95, attended Broxburn High School before returning to work on the farm his family had moved to in Ratho and taking over the running of the milk round.

Although they lived close to each other for years, the couple never met until 1945 when they were introduced by the local blacksmith, Bobby Robinson, who knew both of their families.

At the time, Marjorie was 18 and John was 19 and the meeting between them started a six-year courtship before they married in St Georges Church in Charlotte Square, on 6 August, 1949.

“It was a lovely day,” said Marjorie, “There was sunshine and just a few clouds my memory is very good

“We got married at St Georges and when you came out all your guests could stand behind you.

“Of all the pictures you have from the day, that’s the one that comes out most.”

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The couple honeymooned in Dublin, flying from Renfrew airport in a Douglas Dakota, an airliner used by the Allies during the Second World War and revolutionised air transport in the 1930s and 1940s.

Shortly after marrying, the happy couple took up residence in Ratho where they lived for the next 21 years.

During their years there, John continued working on the farm and Barbara became a housewife bringing up three children, Ruth, Hugh and Ronald. She later returned to work in the 1960s at the offices of North Edinburgh Central Finance.

After Majorie retired in 1985 and John in 1989, they enjoyed holidays in a touring caravan which they used well into their 80s. Marjorie, who has six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, said: “We went around the British isles, down to the Lake District and up to Blair Atholl. We spent a lot of time doing it, we’d go away for a fortnight at a time.”

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And the secret to a long and happy marriage?

“Both of us working hard at it,” Marjorie said.