William Black turns 100, vowing to dance on

HE has always loved to dance, and even though he will be celebrating his 100th birthday tomorrow, William Black has vowed he will keep doing so.

Friday, 13th May 2016, 11:35 am
Updated Friday, 13th May 2016, 12:37 pm
William Black loves to dance. Picture: supplied
William Black loves to dance. Picture: supplied

The 99-year-old, who worked as a telephone engineer in the Capital for decades, will celebrate the milestone surrounded by his family at the Lauriston Farm restaurant tomorrow.

He will also receive a special visit from Lord Provost Donald Wilson, and gifts from relatives.

William Black was one of seven children to his parents, William and Mary Black.

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He was brought up in Glasgow, and attended both the Oakbank and Temple schools, before he left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice plumber.

Shortly afterwards he began working as a telephone engineer for the post office and then joined the army in September 1939 at the age of 23.

He was assigned to the Royal Corps of Signals and worked on the Firth of the Forth for four years.

He was stationed at Inchcolm Island for 14 months and in March 1941, he met his wife, 18-year-old Elizabeth Copland from Leith.

The couple married on January 9, 1943, in the manse on Dudley Avenue, and went on to have a peaceful honeymoon in Peebles.

But before the pair could start their married life in Edinburgh, Mr Black travelled with the army and it was not until December 1945 that he was finally demobbed.

Mr Black and his wife went on to have three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

On his return to Edinburgh after the war, Mr Black continued his work as a telephone engineer in Edinburgh and lived in Broxburn, before moving to Uphall and then to Clermiston. He retired in August 1976 and enjoyed his free time going to ballroom dancing and strolling down to his local bookmakers.

In July 7, 2010, his wife Elizabeth died and just two years ago, he became a resident at Belgrave Lodge Care Home, in Corstorphine.

His son, Bill Black, 69, said: “My dad is a character, he loves talking to people and he has a great sense of humour.

“As much as he liked the bookies, he was never a big gambler or a heavy drinker.

“He loved the ballroom dancing and still tries to dance at every opportunity he gets.

“He is doing fantastic for his age.”

As well as a family lunch on Saturday, Bill said another celebration has been planned for later in the summer where all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren can reunite.

Bill added: “A few of our family members live in different countries, such as Australia and Canada, so we are having another celebration for us all to be together.”