A CARNOUSTIE couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday with a surprise visit from local dignitaries.
Betty and Angus Heron were caught unawares when Lord Lieutenant Georgiana Osbourne and Deputy Provost Peter Murphy arrived bearing gifts for the happy couple.
Angus, a gardener by trade, met and fell in love with Betty, a weaver for Rolands of Arbroath, at the now closed Templar’s dance hall.
The couple were married at the Registrar’s Office in Arbroath in 1951 while Angus completed his National Service as a motor mechanic with the Royal Air Force at Stranraer.
The newly-weds honeymooned in Aberdeen for a couple of nights as leave for Angus was very limited.
He went back into gardening after leaving the RAF and eventually took a position at Kinnaird Castle.
At the time, many large country estates were heavily invested in commercial gardening, growing soft fruits, tomatoes, chrysanthemums and the like.
The couple moved several times in the early part of their life together, to Inverkip, Invertrossachs, Ledburgh and finally Petworth to work for Lord Egremont.
They eventually settled in Petworth, and stayed for 37 years, raising three girls and four boys, who in turn raised 14 grand-children of their own.
When they realised that the surprise visit was the brainchild of son Andrew, an amused Betty told the Guide & Gazette: “I’ve had seven children, but I’ll be short one after today.”
Angus eventually retired from commercial gardening, latterly having been self-employed, and the pair returned to their Angus roots, settling in Carnoustie.
Of their time together, the pair have some very fond and funny memories.
Betty has apparently always been keen on re-arranging the furniture, and Angus recounted the time they lived on the Kinnaird Castle estate.
He said: “There was no electricity you see, so we had to depend on paraffin. We only had one good lamp between us, and the nights were pitch black.
“One night, I went to bed, got ready in the dark and then jumped into bed. Or, jumped into where the bed should have been.
“Betty had moved the bed during the day and in the dark I hadn’t noticed!”
Asked if she could explain how they had managed 60 happy years together, Betty shrugged and said: “Half the time I’ve driven him up the wall, but I don’t know.”
Still feeling a little caught off guard by the sudden appearance of the Deputy Provost and Lord Lieutenant, as well as various photographers and members of the press, Betty’s parting shot to the Gazette was: “Come back for the next 60 years, I’ll be more presentable then.”