Gramps and Jimbob are diamond couple

Isa and Jimmy Baxter, who celebrated 60 years of marriage on monday 26th March 2012. The couple are residents at Riverside Health Care Centre, Selkirk.
Isa and Jimmy Baxter, who celebrated 60 years of marriage on monday 26th March 2012. The couple are residents at Riverside Health Care Centre, Selkirk.

THE couple known in Greenlaw as Granny Gramps and Papa Jimbob celebrated their diamond wedding last week.

Octogenarians Jimmy and Isa Baxter held a party for family and friends on their anniversary last Monday at the Riverside Health Centre, where they now live, in Selkirk.

Asked the secret to such a long partnership, Isa, 80, shrugged and Jimmy, 84, said: “Glenfiddich!”.

The pair met at “the Palli” in Galashiels when Jimmy from Stow was a motor mechanic for Adam Purves and Galashiels’ Isa was working in Dalgetty’s bakers.

“She thought he was a massy [arrogant] little pup – she didn’t really fancy him. But he won in the end,” laughed daughter Di.

Her parents married in Edinburgh, moving to Kelso where Jimmy worked as a mechanic for Roger Fish garage and Isa worked for her parents-in-law, Jim and Barbara Baxter, in their sweetie shop in the town’s Roxburgh Street.

Their first child, Stewart, was born in 1953, Colin followed in 1955, Malcolm in 1958, Di in 1964 and their youngest, Sheila was born in 1968.

In 1959. the family moved to Greenlaw, after Jimmy and his father bought the Central Garage. Ten years later the Baxters moved to Marchmont Estate when Jimmy started working for the ambulance service. They returned to Greenlaw in 1977 where they remained until moving into Riverside a couple of years ago.

Jimmy worked for the ambulance service until he retired in 1994, while Isa was a home help and cleaned at the bank.

“Oboe, the ambulance Dad looked after, was his pride and joy, it was his ‘baby’,” said Di.

But Jimmy didn’t slow down in his retirement, offering his services as a volunteer hospital driver and driving the schoolchildren’s bus until he was about 75.

Jimmy, a keen rugby fan and former elder at Greenlaw, also used to entertain many with his accordion playing.

“Dad was the outgoing one – he used to do Mr Pastry on his own on the accordion. Mum was a champion baker and soup maker and she would spend hours making Christmas cakes. Her interest was the family,” said Di.

The diamond couple have six grandchildren and Di said one of her mum’s proudest moments was when Di’s son Keiran was chosen as a mascot for the Scottish rugby team in 1999.