FORMER chip shop businessman Fred Leppard and his wife Isobel celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last week.
And so rare is the celebration that the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, Captain Gerald Maitland-Carew went to Riverside Health Care Home in Selkirk personally to deliver a card to the happy couple.
The pair, 94-year-old Fred from London and 89-year-old Isobel, originally from Keith, enjoyed a party at the home last Thursday and on Saturday went to lunch at Kingsknowes Hotel near Galashiels with about 20 friends and relations including Isobel’s brother Jimmy Angus and his wife Stephanie, and the couple’s granddaughter Mandy Anderson and her husband Roger.
The couple received flowers and a cake at last Thursday’s party when the 30-or-so party-goers including the residents and family members enjoyed music provided by the Bogie’s Close Stompers.
Mr Angus said: “Everybody enjoyed the party and Fred and Isobel enjoyed it and were singing along to the band.”
Riverside’s Mary Armstrong said: “We did it like a wedding reception for them and they really had a lovely time.”
The Leppards also received a card from the Queen, to add to the one from Her Majesty they received when they celebrated their golden wedding.
The couple met when Fred, who was in the army, was stationed in Keith. They married on March 10, 1941, and Fred, as a member of the Royal Army Service Corps, drove an ambulance in France where he was injured when the vehicle he was driving was blown up.
He returned to Keith and the couple moved to the Borders in the 1960s, living in Melrose and latterly in Tweedbank. Fred and Isobel worked with Fred’s brother-in-law Vlada Vuckovic in his Bank Street fish and chip shop in Galashiels before branching out on their own when Fred took over the Tower Street fast food outlet in Selkirk, which he ran until he retired.
The couple have been pre-deceased by two of their three sons, George and Freddie, but the youngest, Alistair, who lives in Australia, is expected to return to Scotland for Isobel’s 90th birthday next month.
Asked the secret to seven decades of marriage, Fred replied: “To agree with one another in happy harmony.”