Jean’s 60 years a Souter

Scottish Borders Housing Association tenant Jean Black is celebrating 60 years of living in the same house in Selkirk.

Scottish Borders Housing Association sent Jean Black flowers to mark her 60th year in Murray Place.
Scottish Borders Housing Association sent Jean Black flowers to mark her 60th year in Murray Place.

Jean, who is 91, moved into her Murray Place home with her family in July 1960, and, despite the kitchen cupboards being made of tin, the window frames being steel and the coal bunker being situated in the kitchen, she loved it so much she never left.

She and her husband Ian – who sadly died 12 years ago – brought up nine children in the house, six boys and three girls, who are now all grown up, and now Jean has 12 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Of course, the home has undergone several changes over the years, including the installation of central heating and double glazing ... luxuries that would have gone down well in the early years, says Jean’s daughter Sheila.

Sheila, who is 51, told us: “It was a great house to grow up in ... there were less cars and kids just played football or kerbie on the grass area outside. All the kids used to come into the house.

“It is a three-bedroom, and all the boys were in two of the bedrooms, the girls were in the other, while mum and dad had a fold-down bed in the livingroom.

“It was so cold in the winter that we were all huddled round the fire, so the central heating has been a big change.”

The neighbourhood has been a friendly one for Jean over the years and she says she has had many good neighbours ... Jean’s son John even married the girl next door.

SBHA sent Jean some flowers to mark her 60 years as a tenant.