MARLENE Love, who once had the job of handing out telegrams from the Queen as a depute lord lieutenant for East Lothian, received one of her own on Boxing Day. . . when she celebrated her diamond wedding anniversary with her husband of 60 years, Stan.

Marlene, 78, and Stan, 80, married in 1959 and have four children together – now aged between 50 and 60. They also have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, one of whom is just a few weeks old.

The Port Seton couple had a surprise celebration with their loved ones at the Waterside Bistro in Haddington on Boxing Day and were joined by the Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian Michael Williams and deputy Lynn Marshall, who greeted Marlene with a huge bunch of flowers and her very own telegram from Her Majesty The Queen.

Marlene told the Courier: “It was very exciting. I knew that at some point I would have got a telegram but with our anniversary being on Boxing Day, I didn’t know when it would be.”

Marlene, who has always been heavily involved in the community, said she was “passionate about where she lives”.

She got involved with the village’s gala committee when her children were young and went on to serve Cockenzie & Port Seton Community Council for 20 years.

She has also been the chair of Cockenzie and Port Seton In Bloom for 20 years and was the chair of the community centre advisory committee before there was even a Port Seton Centre.

She is still on the management committee for the centre and said she never thought she would live to see the new sports hall that she has passionately campaigned for, which is due to be finished by August.

Marlene met her husband Stan, who was living in Leith at the time, “quite by accident”, she said.

“Stan’s friend’s mother had a hut at the [Seton Sands] caravan site and the boys used to come down at the weekends [from Edinburgh],” she said.

“I was going down to buy cigarettes for my friend and Stan shouted something out of the window of a car at me, and afterwards we realised we worked quite close to each other.

“I worked at the McEwan’s brewery [in Fountainbridge] as a telephonist and Stan worked for the North British Rubber Company at the time.

“We used to meet at lunchtime and then Stan got into the habit of coming to Port Seton every weekend. He would just happen to be at the bus station when I finished work with no bus fare.”

The couple, of Inglis Avenue, married a year later, when Marlene was 18 and Stan was 20.

Stan worked at Cockenzie Power Station for 30 years and even helped with the construction of the site before it opened in 1967.

He joked: “I helped build it and helped tear it down!”

Marlene said of their marriage: “We never thought we would have made it to this milestone. I remember my father saying: ‘I will give you six months.’

“We had a lot of hard times, we were young and foolish and hard up, but for some unknown reason we managed to take the kids on holiday every year and buy them their season tickets for the swimming pool. We had to save all year for them.

“For the young, I would say not to marry young. I’m very proud that none of my children have followed in our footsteps.

“I would say [in marriage] it is important to always be mindful of one another and try to be tolerant… never keep an argument going. It is too easy nowadays to walk away but you just have to keep going. I wanted to kill him some days and it was probably likewise but we have had a great life together.

“We feel very lucky to have reached this age and that all of our children have got good lives, and their children are just a delight to have around.”

In their retirement, Marlene and Stan have travelled most of the Mediterranean and much of Europe together, and enjoy looking after their grandchildren, who all live in the county.