Retired coach driver Harry MacDonald marks 100th birthday

Harry MacDonald has lived in Edinburgh since the 1920s. Picture: supplied
Harry MacDonald has lived in Edinburgh since the 1920s. Picture: supplied
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A HEARTS-supporting, Ian Rankin-loving retired coach driver has celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by his great-grandchildren and other family.

Harry MacDonald, who was born in Aberdeenshire, has lived in Edinburgh since the 1920s and celebrated his birthday in style last weekend with a party at the Drylaw Parish Church hall.

Around 80 people attended to celebrate the milestone, including his five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mr MacDonald was the son of John and Charlotte MacDonald and was a pupil at Stockbridge School when he was a youngster.

At the age of 14, he left and began working in a Stockbridge butchers and it wasn’t long until he came across his wife Nan Horsburgh, who used to buy meat from the shop.

As teenagers, the pair enjoyed embarking on day trips together around the city and cycling.

But their time was cut short when Mr MacDonald went into the Navy in 1939 for six years during the war.

But despite his frequent absence, the couple still managed to get married in 1941 and their first two children, twins Jordan and Henry, were born a year later.

Mr MacDonald returned to his family home in Groathill Road North in 1945 and the couple’s first daughter, Evelyn, was born in 1949.

Evelyn, who is now 67, and lives in Bridge of Allan with her husband, said: “Some of the most vivid memories I remember from my childhood were caravan holidays with my mum and dad.

“My dad really enjoyed travelling around Scotland so we would go to places like Callander and Loch Earnhead.

“It wasn’t until my brothers and I left the house that my parents started going abroad.”

After the war, Mr MacDonald began working as a coach driver for SMT (Scottish Motor Traction), where he enjoyed taking passengers on tours around Scotland.

After retiring, he enjoyed gardening and spending time with his wife Nan, who sadly passed away two years ago, at the age of 100.

Evelyn said her dad, who is a fan of crime writer Ian Rankin, remained active at his grand old age.

She said: “My dad is fabulous for his age, he still enjoys pottering around in his garden, going to the theatre with his friends and reading.”

Mr MacDonald is a member of Drylaw Parish Church and has been part of the Drylaw Community Council for several years.

He was the first person to be awarded the Thomas Tierney Trophy for citizenship in Drylaw.

Following the party last weekend, he celebrated his actual birthday on Tuesday with his close family at Ye Olde Inn in Davidson Mains, where he was presented with a Hearts strip from a representative of the club.