Arbroath couple’s diamond celebration

Mr and Mrs Jan Birse Gallowden Road celebrating their diamond wedding on Thursday December 29th. Pictured with them is Lady Fiona Fraser depute lieutenent of Angus representing the Queen.
Mr and Mrs Jan Birse Gallowden Road celebrating their diamond wedding on Thursday December 29th. Pictured with them is Lady Fiona Fraser depute lieutenent of Angus representing the Queen.

JAN AND Dorothy Birse, 28 Gallowden Road, Arbroath, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday when they received a visit from Lady Fraser of Carmyllie, depute Lieutenant of Angus, and Angus Provost Ruth Leslie Melville.

The couple were married on December 29, 1951, at St John’s Methodist Church, Arbroath, by the Rev. Norman N. Faid.

Mr Birse is a native of Arbroath who attended the Abbey School and Arbroath High School. He served an apprenticeship as a jig and tool draughtsman with Douglas Fraser & Sons Ltd, later Giddings & Lewis-Fraser. Before ending his apprenticeship he did three years’ National Service in the Royal Air Force, serving in the South of France, Egypt and Palestine.

He rose to the post of production manager with Fraser’s and in 1973 joined the management team at Precision Miniature Pressings, Elliot Industrial Estate, from where he retired in 1992.

Mrs Birse, nee Reid, was born in Canada of Arbroath parents and returned to the town to attend Inverbrothock Primary School and Arbroath High School.

She worked for a spell in the family business of Hayswell Laundry, run by her aunts.

The couple met at a dance at the Marine Ballroom at a time, as Mrs Birse recalls, when there was no bar and refreshments consisted of coffee and biscuits.

Mr Birse comes from a musical family and took tuition from a young age. He plays the violin and was a member of dance band ‘The Melody Makers’ which split up when five of its members were called up for National Service.

He is a former president of Arbroath Male Voice Choir and a member of Arbroath Musical Society which he joined when it was still Arbroath Operatic Society.

He has been an elder of West Kirk for some 45 years.

Mrs Birse is a former cub mistress with the 2nd Arbroath and was an office-bearer of Arbroath Trefoil Guild for many years. She has only recently retired after over 20 years’ service to the League of Friends of Arbroath Infirmary and Little Cairnie Hospital.

Their joint hobby is travelling and they have visited many countries including Egypt, Canada and Africa.

The couple have two children, Kenneth and Mrs Pamela Coventry, both of whom live in the Perth area. There are three grandchildren, Ruth, Ian and Louise, and one great-granddaughter, Elizabeth.