Winchburgh couple’s ‘fairytale’ romance has lasted 70 years

The happy couple with their card from the Queen.
The happy couple with their card from the Queen.

A Winchburgh couple who celebrated 70 years of marriage this week said that the secret to their success was being “well matched”.

Willie (93) and Bunty (89) Sommerville were childhood friends who grew up on the same street in Winchburgh during the 1930s.

When the Second World War broke out, Willie was sent overseas to serve in the Royal Navy. Stationed in the Middle East and, later, Malta, the couple didn’t see each other for three years.

But the two regularly wrote one another letters.

In 1944, Willie was finally granted six weeks leave, during which he and Bunty were quickly engaged and married at Winchburgh Parish Church – a time which Bunty said was “like a fairytale”.

After the war, Willie worked as an engineer at BP Grangemouth, while Bunty worked at Winchburgh and Kirkliston post offices before becoming the manager of the bookstall at Edinburgh Airport.

The couple have two daughters, Morag and Hazel, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The church has always been an integral part of their lives – Willie is a former treasurer of Winchburgh Parish Church and Bunty continues to help with church fundraising activities.

The couple celebrated their platinum anniversary surrounded by their family at an event in the Royal Burgess Hotel, Costorphine, on Sunday.

To mark the occasion, Willie bought Bunty a diamond ring.

Asked what the secret to a long-lasting relationship is, Bunty said: “The reason we’ve been together 70 years is that we’re very well matched!

“The main thing is that you just keep on loving each other.”

The couple’s daughter, Morag, said: “They really are an amazing couple and everybody adores them.

“Both of them are still sharp as tacks and have a great sense of humour.”