Real Lives: Married life is as good as gold after 50 happy years

James and Margaret Aitken raise a glass to mark their golden anniversary
James and Margaret Aitken raise a glass to mark their golden anniversary
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James and Margaret Aitken, of Haddington, have celebrated their golden anniversary.

The couple celebrated 50 years of marriage on August 26 and a party with 53 guests, including friends and family, took place at Haddington’s Railway Hotel at the weekend.

The pair wed at St Mary’s Parish Church in their home town in 1961 after meeting a year previously.

Mr Aitken, 74, had been working on a new sewer system at Amisfield Park, now the site for Haddington Golf Club, in 1960. Mrs Aitken, who lived at Abbeymill Farm near to where Mr Aitken was working at the time, had to make her way through Amisfield on her way to work.

Mrs Aitken, 68, said: “He had noticed me and asked a man he was working with, ‘I wonder who that girl is?’

“The man actually knew my parents, so he told him who I was. He finally introduced himself underneath a big tree. It was really lovely.”

After their wedding, the couple set up home in the Abbots View area of Haddington, where they lived for the next 43 years.

During that time, Mr Aitken made the move from the building trade to driving lorries for Haddington-based haulage company George Henderson, transporting agricultural machinery.

He retired nine years ago after a service of nearly 31 years.

The couple then made the move from Abbots View to Beechwood Road, Haddington, seven years ago.

The couple, who have one daughter, Evelyn, 43, who also lives in Haddington, don’t believe there is any one secret to a happy marriage that has lasted five decades.

Mrs Aitken, a former home help, said: “There’s no secret. We are just like any other couple. Nobody goes through marriage without having a row, you just have an argument and then you make up.

“I don’t believe anyone if they say they never argue. It’s something that every couple does.”

The couple now say they are making the most of their retirement.

Both have been members of Haddington Bowling Club for many years and Mrs Aitken is also a keen gardener. The pair also love holidaying in Crieff, Perthshire.

Speaking about their golden wedding celebrations, which took place on August 27, Mrs Aitken said she couldn’t have hoped for a better night to celebrate such a wonderful occasion.

She said: “It was such a lovely night, really beautiful and everyone had such a good night.

“There were lots of photos taken, but we still need to get them developed.”