Two Linlithgow couples last week celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversaries on the same day, with their friendship between them lasting nearly as long as their marriages.
Alan (75) and Pamela Stobie (73) were married at Slateford Longstone Church on October 18, 1969, the same day as their friends Jim and Eleanor Smith.
The couples knew each before their weddings but only became close friends after.
And it wasn’t until after their respective weddings that the friends discovered that not only had they been married on the same day, but that their wedding receptions took place on the same street!
Alan spoke about the “pure coincidence” of their big days.
He said: “Jim and I joined BP on the same day, April 10, 1967. It ended up we were on the same shifts so I got to know the guy. So we knew each other, but it was more after our weddings that we became good friends as they moved to Linlithgow from Bo’ness in about 1971/72.
“One time Pamela and I were out in Edinburgh at the pictures to see Ice Station Zebra. We just turned around and saw Jim and Eleanor. I knew him and my wife knew Eleanor.
“We got married on the same day in 1969. Our receptions were both on London Road, Edinburgh. It was just a pure coincidence it was on the same street.
“You couldn’t make it up. Married on the same day and receptions on the same street. We do laugh about it.”
Last Friday the couples celebrated their Golden Weddings at Mason Belle. Jim and Eleanor politely declined to be interviewed or photographed.
Alan revealed how he met his wife of 50 years: “Pamela is from Edinburgh, I have always been in Linlithgow. We met at the Pally in Edinburgh in 1963. She was a red head so she caught my eye. I had a motorbike and would go through to Edinburgh sometimes.”
Speaking about their wedding and honeymoon, Alan added: “It was a nice day. She looked pretty stunning. We had a lot of friends there.
“Then we spent our first night as a married couple at the Forth Bridges Motel in Queensferry, where the Queensferry Crossing visitor centre is now.
“From there we went up north for our honeymoon. We went up in my uncle’s caravan, for at least a week. We went to Fort William, Ullapool, all over.
“It was a Morris 1100 I had. We couldn’t get up the hill with the caravan! People came down and helped us unhinge the caravan.
“We ended up in Tongue eventually. It was quite an adventure.”
So what is the secret of such a long marriage?
“I don’t know. A lot of luck,” said Alan.
“We have been reasonably fit, touch wood, and just the jobs that we had helped. It doesn’t seem like 50 years. We are doing OK. I can’t really complaint. The only problem we have now is Pamela has Alzheimer’s. It’s just one of those unfortunate things.”
The couple have a son, Neil (43) and a daughter, Zoe (46). They also have five grandchildren – Abbey, Isla, Liam, Murray and Gregor.
Alan worked with BP for more than 33 years as a maintenance fitter at the Grangemouth plant. Pamela was a beauty consultant for Jenners and Boots, a secretary for the council’s housing department and then a customer advisor at Halifax bank.