Scrabble spells 65 years of happy marriage

Margaret and David Henderson married in 1949. Picture: Alan Murray
Margaret and David Henderson married in 1949. Picture: Alan Murray
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A couple’s 65-year marriage has been cemented by shared values and a mutual love of Scrabble.

Margaret Roberton met her childhood sweetheart, David Henderson, in 1940 and they have recently celebrated their blue sapphire anniversary.

The couple, born in Falkirk in 1922 and 1923 respectively, have now lived in Linlithgow for 54 years. They were members of the same methodist church and first became close through badminton.

Daughter-in-law Margaret said: “When nobody else turned up to a game one day, David suggested that they should go to the cinema and 
she liked that idea. The rest is history.

“They were both brought up with Christian values and wanted the same thing. They have the same principles and have stuck firmly to them.”

The couple’s eldest son, Derek Henderson, 64, said: “It’s amazing they have got so far. Both are in 
their 90s but are still reasonably active.”

They married in Bainsford near Falkirk on November 16, 1949, before setting up home in Newton Stewart.

Margaret, 91, who had formerly been a primary school teacher became a full-time mum.

Driven by a sense of duty, David, 91, had enlisted in 1942 and went first to HMS Royal, Skegness, which served as a training ground.

He was a probation engineer mechanic and went on to complete an electrical and mechanic courses.

In 1943, he was part of a naval exercise which tested the effectiveness of the Mulberry harbour, a portable temporary harbour designed to speed up the off-loading of cargo during the Allied invasion.

David was in the engine room in one of the landing crafts when the Allies stormed the breaches.

He was temporarily marooned on the beach on D-Day when a propeller was damaged after hitting an obstruction.

Derek added: “He was stranded in a very dangerous place but managed to return home and was soon back in France.”

The couple enjoy word puzzles and dominoes and play Scrabble every night, though it is understood David is slightly more competitive than his wife.

They have a family of four boys, Derek, Douglas, Alan and Gordon, and now are proud grandparents and great grandparents to a further 12 children.

In 1960, the couple moved to Linlithgow with David working in the timber trade before retiring from Muirhead and Sons in 1988.

The couple celebrated their blue sapphire wedding surrounded by friends and family at Glenskirlie House, before they had a visit at home from the Queen’s representative, Lord-Lieutenant Isobel Brydie, and West Lothian Provost Tom Kerr.