CHILDHOOD sweethearts John and Christine Watt celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary by asking for donations to charity instead of gifts as they marked the occasion with family and friends.

John and Christine, known as Chrissie, met when they lived just a few doors apart on Coalgate Road, Tranent, 70 years ago when John confessed he was smitten by Chrissie’s long blonde hair.

Ten years later the couple wed in Tranent Parish Church and built their life in the town, where John, now 84, was a carpenter and served 16 years as a retained firefighter, rising through the ranks to sub-officer.

Chrissie, 82, worked as a seamstress making wedding dresses and with Kinloch Anderson Kilt Makers.

They put their successful marriage down to learning to agree and stay happy.

Chrissie said: “We’ve had our ups and downs like everyone else but we’ve always been happy.”

The couple, who have a son and daughter, marked their diamond wedding with all their family, including grandchildren, at Carfraemill Hotel, Lauder. And they asked guests to make donations rather than presents.

Daughter Heather said: “They had a wonderful day with family and friends. Mum and dad didn’t want to receive any gifts but suggested instead that donations be made to Cancer Research or The British Heart Foundation. They received around £150 which will be sent to the two charities.”