Accordionist in tune with sweetheart

180103 Allan and Jean Old, diamond wedding anniversary.
180103 Allan and Jean Old, diamond wedding anniversary.
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EVERY diamond is unique and for one Linlithgow couple they have kept their sparkle alive in their 60 years together.

Allan and Jean Old celebrated their diamond wedding on Thursday, January 17, after a lifetime in Linlithgow and a lot of happy memories.

Jean (81) is a Black Bitch and Allan (85) started off life at Kingscavil miners’ cottages before moving to Bridgend. But it was their love of music that brought them together, as Allan explained.

He said: “I was 19 and going out with a Highland dancer at the time. I played the accordion and we would go to concerts together.

‘‘This time we were playing at Bangour Hospital and my girlfriend said there was a rehearsal for another concert in Bo’ness.

‘‘She asked if I would go down with her as she didn’t know if the accordionist knew the tunes.

‘‘So I went down to Bo’ness and met the accordionist - who was Jean! I 
finished up carrying her accordion home for her, and that was it!”

Jean was 16 at the time, and at 21, in the same year as the Queen’s coronation, the couple were married in Linlithgow’s Masonic Hall by Reverend Rutherford of St Michael’s Parish Church.

She said: “Allan used to play there a lot. It was quite unusual to be married there.”

Allan was a joiner and latterly worked at Miller Construction in Edinburgh 
before retiring.

Jean worked in various places locally, including the Co-op, and as a doctor’s receptionist, before also finishing up in Miller Construction.

The pair who stay at the Water Yett 
insisted there was no secret to such a long marriage.

They have four sons and one daughter, Allan, Alistair, Dorothy, Stuart and Gordon, who stay in Linlithgow and Edinburgh, and six grandchildren, who were celebrating with Allan and Jean last week, opening a 1964 St Magdalene’s single malt whisky for the occasion.

Allan is also known for being one of Scotland’s best bowlers.

As well as being Linlithgow Bowling Club champion five times, Allan was skip for the Scottish Fours who won the national medal in 1989 in Glasgow.