Bo’ness couple celebrate 75th wedding anniversary

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One of Bo’ness’ oldest couples are celebrating a rare 75th wedding anniversary today.

When John (97) and Annie Henderson (95) tied the knot, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister, the film Bambi was released and Stephen Hawking was born.

Now, 75 years later, the pair celebrated their remarkable anniversary with family and friends at the Barleystone Care Home in Westquarter.

They are believed to be the second couple from Bo’ness to reach the milestone after Susan and Robert Erskine in 2012 – formerly Britain’s oldest couple.

John and Annie met at the local dancing at the Gardeners Hall in Hope Street, Bo’ness before the war in 1938.

Annie, who worked in hosiery, said: “We just loved the dancing, we loved all kinds. It wasn’t love at first sight but we always got on and he was a good dancer.”

John was a joiner to trade but served in the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman between 1940 and 1945.

It was during this time that they were married at the Bo’ness Old Kirk on August 1, 1942 by the Rev John Bayne.

Their relationship became long distance when John was posted to the Mediterranean a year later until April 1945 before then going back to joinery once the war ended.

He received the Freedom of Falkirk award at a special ceremony at Grangemouth Stadium in November 2005 alongside hundreds of other veterans for their effort in World War II.

They had four children Robert (71), Jane (64), Rae (59) and Eric (51), eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Sadly Jane died in May 2016.

They lived in Crawfield Avenue in Bo’ness for over six decades before going into the care home in May 2015.

Their daughter-in-law Pat said: “They just did their own thing. Annie is always smiling and loved to watch the grandchildren. She used to say ‘it’s nice to see them but it’s nice to see them going away too!’”

The family were touched by the effort the staff at the care home had gone to in organising last Saturday’s celebration.

Their son Robert said: “We would just like to thank the manageress and staff for the lovely party. It made the day so special and thanks for all the lovely gifts and cards.”