Real Lives: Billy and Nettie celebrate 70 happy years together

Billy and Nettie Little mark their platinum anniversary
Billy and Nettie Little mark their platinum anniversary
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IT was a wedding their family and friends would never forget as they partied into the wee small hours back in 1941.

With just three days’ leave from the army to celebrate his marriage, Billy Little was determined to make the most of the occasion. After all, he was marrying his sweetheart Nettie Thomson and he was committed to spending the rest of his life with her.

Now, 70 years on, he has done just that and the couple have celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary – albeit with a slightly more subdued affair at the St Anne’s Care Home in Musselburgh where they both now live.

Their niece Faye Cunningham, from Tranent, said: “We had a brilliant time at the party.”

Nettie, 90, from Tranent, met Billy, 91, from Elphistone, when they were teenagers, both members of the Tranent Cycling Club.

Billy was serving with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers in India when he proposed to her and she set about arranging their wedding at the Tranent Town Hall for October 24, 1941 when he would return to East Lothian.

After Billy was demobbed in 1946, he set up a furniture shop in Broxburn Main Street – Wilson and Little – before moving across the street to run a newsagent – of the same name. With Nettie’s help, the businesses were successful and popular features in the community for nearly 40 years.

In the mid-1980s, the couple made a return to East Lothian, living in Longniddry, Tranent, and then Elphinstone, before their move to Musselburgh.

On Monday they celebrated with loved ones, including their niece Faye and nephew Jim Little, from Broxburn, along with their partners Bert and Janette.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Jeremy Nichols was welcomed to the home to present telegrams on behalf of the Queen and East Lothian Provost Sheena Richardson, and Nettie received flowers from staff and residents.

Faye said: “Auntie Nettie and Uncle Billy have always been very popular. For myself and my brother Jim, growing up they were always very approachable people.”