Humour and dancing is key to Gladys and Les’s love

Les and Gladys Methven celebrated their platinum wedding on wednesday.
Les and Gladys Methven celebrated their platinum wedding on wednesday.

TWO nonagenarians celebrated their platinum wedding in Selkirk this week, writes Sally Gillespie.

Les and Gladys Methven of Elm Park married 70 years ago on Wednesday.

And the secret to such a long union? “A sense of humour and a bit of give and take,” said 94-year-old Gladys.

Originally from Essex, Gladys has lived in Selkirk since she was four, attending Philiphaugh Primary and Selkirk High schools before going to work for the Co-operative and later Gibsons Mill as a weaver. Meanwhile, Les, 91, born in Edinburgh, joined the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and the pair met in Selkirk during a blackout when he was 18 and Gladys 21.

“A crowd of us bumped into a crowd of them and we just all went together and I singled off with Les one evening. We just seemed to click right away, we just stuck together. We both have a bit of a sense of humour.”

The pair courted for about four years before marrying on May 23, 1942, at St Mary’s Parish Church. But 10 days later Les, who joined the Royal Artillery and later the Royal Engineers, went away to war.

“I didn’t see him for three years. When he came back he was a stranger, he had grown up. He went away a youngster, he came back a man. We just had to adjust ourselves, there was nothing else for it,” said Gladys.

Gladys stayed with her parents, John and May Kendal in Buccleuch Road during the war and when Les came back he got a job as a signalman at Selkirk station until it closed. He then did odd jobs until becoming a postman for 25 years until he retired.

Gladys left the mill when she was expecting their son, Douglas, and after he went to school she worked for Prudential Insurance.

One of the joys of their marriage and life together has been dancing said Gladys.

“We have danced all our lives, all over the Borders. We enjoyed all kinds – Scottish, ballroom dancing, any dancing – up until about eight years ago,” she said.

Les also enjoyed games and sport, playing golf, snooker, table tennis among others.

The pair marked their anniversary with a family dinner with their son, Douglas and his wife Margaret, and their granddaughter Jane and her partner Dave at the Kingsknowes Hotel, Galashiels, on Wednesday evening.