Bill’s happiest day: meeting his wife, Gina

William Wood (Bill) 100yrs old - with 95yr old wife Gina Wood and Provost Tom Kerr.
William Wood (Bill) 100yrs old - with 95yr old wife Gina Wood and Provost Tom Kerr.

Centenarian William (Bill) Wood has withnessed a lot in his 100 years but he maintains the most notable event was the day he met his wife-to-be Georgina.

Bill has seen the deaths of three reigning monarchs, the first man in space, the Wall Street crash, Kennedy assassination, Great Train Robbery and the first heart transplant.

Born on May 27, 1914, he was the middle child of three; he has survived his two sisters, Rita and Jean.

He met his wife, Georgina, (Gina) in 1940 on a blind date and they were married at Grosvenor Street registry office in 1943.

Bill took over his dad’s garage business, Maidencraig Garage in Blackhall, which he ran until he retired in 1979.

Bill and Gina had a family of three, Bill, Anne and Janet. They in turn provided the centenarian and his 95-year-old wife with seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren, many of whom were present this week for the celebrations at Linlithgow Care Home, where Bill and his wife have lived for the past year.

Until then, the sprightly couple looked after themselves at home but Bill’s eyesight started to fail and they needed a little more help.

Daughter Janet said: “Mum grew up with her grandparents, not knowing her own natural parents, and I think she put as much love as she could into bringing up her own family because of that.

“We never wanted for anything but we were never handed everything on a plate either.”

Bill told us : “My advice for a happy marriage is always to resolve an argument, although we didn’t always do it as promptly as we should. Always take the good with the bad and remember no storm is so bad it can’t be weathered.”

He also told us his recipe for a long life. “Never listen to those people who preach ‘don’t eat this or that’ – a little bit of everything in moderation won’t do you any harm whatsoever, particularly if you also enjoy a nice glass of fine malt whisky...which I do!”

The party was kicked off by Linlithgow Academy piper, Ben Miller (14), who played a selection of tunes for the happy couple.

West Lothian’s Lord Provost Tom Kerr and the Queen’s representative, Lord Lieutenant Isobel Brydie, presented gifts and a card from Her Majesty.