Mary and Jimmy celebrate diamond day

Mary and Jimmy were delighted to receive the card from Her Majesty The Queen on Thursday
Mary and Jimmy were delighted to receive the card from Her Majesty The Queen on Thursday

A Mintlaw couple celebrated 60 diamond years of marriage last week.

Mary and Jimmy Ritchie were the toast of family and friends on Thursday as they marked their anniversary.

Their big day began with the arrival of a card from Her Majesty The Queen congratulating them on the occasion, followed by gifts from local Aberdeenshire councillor and neighbour Jim Ingram and a visit by Depute Lord Lieutenant Sarah Mackie.

The couple met at one of the popular dances at the Mintlaw Station and wed on October 4, 1958 in the village where Mary grew up at Fetterangus Church.

Jimmy (80) worked in fabrication all his life, enjoying spells at Peterhead Engineering and Richard Irvin.

Mary (79) worked in a Peterhead shoe shop before taking up a role at Bellamy's Seafood.

But she recalls the back-breaking work of lifting tatties at Auchtydonald, saying: "When the children went to school, I would go out to pick the tatties and be back for them coming home. It was a tough job, especially in the cold and all the mud."

The couple have three children - William, Graham and Linda - and are now blessed with four grandsons.

Having lived in Mintlaw all their married life, Mary and Jimmy have their own keen interest - with Mary attending Old Deer Parish Church where she sings in the choir, participates in Guild activities and helps out with the Messy Church once a month where younger children and mums enjoy after school activities and snacks.

She also helps out at the Buchan Indoor Bowling Club where Jimmy's a keen bowler.

The couple also put tremendous energy into their impressive Quarry Road garden.

Mary and Jimmy were treated to a family meal at the St Olaf Hotel at Cruden Bay to celebrate their diamond day.