Diamond day for Arbroath couple

Helen and Bill Jarvis who celebrated their diamond wedding this week pictured in their home on Monday.
Helen and Bill Jarvis who celebrated their diamond wedding this week pictured in their home on Monday.

An Arbroath couple have been hitting all the right notes as they celebrated 60 years of happily married life last week.

Helen and Bill Jarvis met at a dance in their youth and on Thursday marked their diamond wedding anniversary.

Mr Jarvis, a joiner by trade, played the drums in a number of popular dance bands of the time, and it was through this pastime that he met his wife-to-be.

He said: “I was a drummer for a long, long time, right up until five years ago, I started when I was 14. I played with all the Scottish dance bands and broadcast with most of them.

“Lindsay Ross from Arbroath was one of them, Jackie Forsyth and old Jimmy Shand. I first played with him when I was 14 and I thought it was the bees’ knees.

“I played with lots of local bands from here, Perth, Fife and all round about.”

Their courtship spanned the Atlantic as Mr Jarvis travelled to Canada for work and in 1953 the pair were married in Kerrisdale Church, Vancouver, British Columbia, and honeymooned in Seattle, Washington.

The former Ladybank School pupil said: “We were married in Vancouver, I was out there working. I went out there to visit my uncle and stayed, as you do! And then Helen came out and we got married out there.”

Switching to a career in insurance the Jarvis family were called on to move often as a result of the job, and lived in Perth and Lanark among others, before finally settling in Carnoustie where they operated the newsagent on Barry Road for 13 years.

Mrs Jarvis was brought up in Cupar and attended Bell Baxter High School.

When asked the secret to a long and happy marriage she replied: “Give and take, definitely, you’ve got to understand each other and be willing to accept each other’s faults. We are very involved with the family and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren.

“We get a lot of pleasure out of them and they keep us going.”

They have two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and there was a family celebration at The Cairn in Auchterarder on Sunday.