Couple’s anniversary party raised charity cash

Edith and Willie McHardy at their home near Friockheim who just celbrated their golden wedding.
Edith and Willie McHardy at their home near Friockheim who just celbrated their golden wedding.

A FRIOCKHEIM couple took the opportunity of their golden wedding celebrations to raise money for a children’s charity.

Edith and Willie McHardy marked 50 years of matrimony by asking revellers at their party in the Masonic Lodge, Friockheim, on Saturday to donate to the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

Edith was very pleased with the response from well-wishers. She said: “It was a great party and good fun, there were a lot of good friends as well as family.

“We had a charity box for donations and £475 was raised for CHAS. Everybody was very good and gave a lot of money.”

Edith (73) was born in St Combs, a small fishing village near Fraserburgh, but her family moved south to follow the farm work.

She explained: “A lot of folk on the farms moved south from Aberdeen. Conditions were better down here, you could sometimes get up to a shilling a week extra.”

Edith’s family moved every six months and she completed her schooling in Monifieth.

Willie, also 73, grew up in Inverkeilor and Friockheim and went into farming. He worked at Friockheim Mains for 25 years, and said much has changed there since his day.

He continued: “When I came here there were a dozen folk working at Friockheim Mains, now it’s run by two.”

It was through the land that the couple met. Willie said: “I was working on a farm up the road and she came to pick tatties and it started from there.”

Edith added: “We met in Friockheim dance hall. I loved the dancing.”

They married in Kinnell Church and spent their honeymoon in Aberdeen before going back to work.

Willie later took a driving job with McEwans and then Jamiesons until he retired, and one of his memorable moments came from the construction of the new runways at RAF Leuchars.

He explained: “You wouldn’t believe how smooth it was. I had the lorry flat out and there wasn’t a single bump.”

Edith worked predominantly in nursing homes, spending 14 years at Lunan Park and then four years at Seaton Grove until her own retiral.

Asked if they had any advice for the newlyweds of today, the couple agreed that communication was key.

They said: “If you’re going to get married, you’ve got to put up with a lot. What we do is we fall out but we’re not going to fall out as bitter as some. We just sit down and speak about it.

“You just have to go fifty-fifty. It’s a simple thing, but young folk just haven’t got a grasp of it and they rush into things.”

They have two children, Billy and Fiona, and there are three grandchildren.

Willie is a keen accordionist, and is a familiar sight on the friendship group circuit. The couple also love caravanning, and until recently could be found travelling all over Ireland.