WALLYFORD couple Nancy and Alister Hadden have celebrated 50 years of marriage.

The couple joined their family for a dinner at the Ravelston House Hotel in Musselburgh to mark the occasion last Friday.

Love blossomed for Nancy, 74, and Alister, 75, who were brought up in the same street in the village – St Clements Gardens North, where they still live.

They were educated at Wallyford Primary School, the former Crookston School at Wallyford and Musselburgh Grammar School.

On leaving school, Alister worked for a time at Jean Telfer lemonade factory at New Street, Musselburgh, helping with deliveries to local pubs. He then went to work with the Musselburgh & Fisherrow Cooperative Society before serving his apprenticeship as a joiner, latterly at Houston and Brownlee at Longstone, Edinburgh.

The couple were married at the registry office at Musselburgh Town Hall on February 2, 1968, and held a reception afterwards at the former Drummohr Motel near the Wallyford Toll roundabout. They travelled to the north of Scotland for their honeymoon.

The couple first set up home at Lochend Road near the harbour in Musselburgh before moving to Pinkiehill Crescent, Musselburgh, and then later returning to Wallyford, where they have lived for 45 years.

Alister was employed in the construction trade for 50 years with companies such as Crudens in Musselburgh and also John Laing, where he was a building manager for 27 years. Projects he was involved in over the years included Barclay House at Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, and the College of Commerce at Sighthill.

Nancy worked as an overhauler at the former Inveresk Paper Mill in Musselburgh before moving to Inveresk Envelopes at Meadowbank. She was also a cleaner with East Lothian Council at Musselburgh Grammar School and Wallyford Primary School.

Asked what their recipe for a long and happy marriage was, Alister said: “Our marriage is no different from everybody else’s. I don’t know there is a recipe – you just try and overcome the trials and tribulations in life. Having a family around you is a great contribution and grandchildren keep you involved.”

He said that “a lot of water had passed under the bridge” since he and Nancy were first married but they had been blessed with three daughters, Avril, Dawn and Nicola. Avril is married to Keith Nisbet, Dawn to Craig Armstrong and Nicola’s partner is John Young. Nancy and Alister have five grandchildren: Megan, Ciaran, Katy, Jack and Max.

Alister thanked everyone for their “lovely and appreciated” gifts, daughter Dawn who baked their anniversary cake; and Dean Ivinson and his staff at the Ravelston for setting up and preparing everything for the dinner, at which the couple’s eldest daughter Avril asked the family to join her in a toast to congratulate them both on their golden wedding.

The couple were also delighted to be joined by Alister’s sister Nancy Savage, his brother Dick, Nancy’s brother Jim and his wife Margaret, her other brother Ian and his wife Amanda, and her sister Ruth Stark.

Alister plays an active role in the local community as a Wallyford community councillor, social convener with the Old Musselburgh Club; chairman of Musselburgh Museum and Heritage Group; a member of Musselburgh Probus Club; trustee of the Hollies Day Centre; secretary of St Clements and St Ninians Men’s Club; and treasurer of the Pinkie Cleugh Battlefield Group.