Real Lives: Diamond couple’s love shone through at dances

A couple who met 66 years ago in a Dalkeith dance hall have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

James Jones, 82, a former precision caster from Slateford, and his wife, Ella, 81, were married in St Nicholas Church on March 7, 1952.

The couple met at the age of 16 in the Corn Exchange in Dalkeith where James’ parents demonstrated old-time and ballroom dancing.

So smitten was he by Ella during their courtship that James quite often walked home to Edinburgh, having missed the last bus.

The couple celebrated their diamond wedding surrounded by family and friends and they were congratulated on their landmark anniversary by Depute Lord Lieutenant Lord John Borthwick and Depute Provost Councillor Margot Russell.


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Christine Stevens, the couple’s only daughter, said her parents had a really nice day and evening.

She added: “They have been very good parents to me and I appreciate all they have done for me over the years.”

Ella was born and grew up in Dalkeith, her father was a baker with Bells and her mother ran Scott’s newsagents in White Hart Street, Dalkeith.

She worked in the newsagents until her parents gave it up when the new shopping centre was built. Following this she worked in Smiths tobacconist.


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Christine said: “She then worked in Ferranti’s until she gave up work to look after her father who had a stroke and her mother who had Alzheimer’s.”

Kind-hearted Ella also worked voluntarily in Oxfam for 17 years and has, along with James, been an elder in St Nicholas Church for many years.

Of her mother’s charity work, Christine said: “She tries to help as much she as she can but due to ill health now finds it increasingly difficult.”

Meanwhile, James was born and grew up in the Slateford area and as a result has been a Hearts supporter all his life.


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He first worked with Henshaws as a precision caster until he was made redundant and then at Ferranti’s until retirement.

A keen bowler and qualified umpire he is a member of Ironmills and Dalkeith Indoor bowling clubs and has held the office of president at both.

Chrsitine said: “He is now an honorary member at Ironmills and still gets much pleasure from this sport, unfortunately now just watching.

“My father was a great support to my mother when she was looking after her own parents.


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“His sight is impaired although it slightly improved recently as a result of an operation but he never complains.”