Di­a­mond an­niver­sary for Skip­ness cou­ple

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - Han­nah O’Han­lon editor@camp­bel­town­courier.co.uk

A SKIP­NESS cou­ple who met at a dance, and spent so long danc­ing at their wed­ding re­cep­tion that peo­ple had to re­mind them to leave, are cel­e­brat­ing 60 years of wed­ded bliss.

Dun­can Shaw first met Jean McLaren in Skip­ness pri­mary school, when Dun­can was nine and Jean was eight but it wasn’t un­til a dance in the 1950s that Dun­can, now 85, asked Jean out – ‘maybe af­ter a few hints’, adds Jean, 84.

The young cou­ple en­joyed go­ing for walks through the glen and it was on one of those strolls in Jan­uary 1956 that Dun­can, a gar­dener at Skip­ness Es­tate all his work­ing life, pro­posed to Jean.

The fol­low­ing year, on Wed­nes­day July 31, 1957, at 5pm, they be­came Mr and Mrs Shaw, when they were mar­ried in Saint Bren­dan’s Church at Skip­ness by min­is­ter the Rev Ge­orge H Green. Dun­can’s brother Wil­lie, now

liv­ing in Campbeltown, was the best man and Jean’s sis­ters Janet and Fiona were brides­maids, along­side her lit­tle cousin, Mar­garet.

Jean, who trained as a nurse be­fore her mar­riage, said: ‘My dress was made by a lady called Mrs Thom­son, who lived in the vil­lage. I got the pat­tern and chose the ma­te­rial and she did the rest. She was a very tal­ented lady.

‘The only thing I can re­mem­ber from the wed­ding was my father hav­ing to tell me

to slow down when we were go­ing up the aisle.’

The new­ly­weds held a re­cep­tion in the vil­lage hall af­ter the cer­e­mony. Dun­can said: ‘We got cater­ers in from Campbeltown and a band from Tar­bert called the Stone­field Band. Ev­ery­one in the vil­lage was in­vited to the dance.’

Jean added: ‘We en­joyed the dance very much – peo­ple had to ask us if it wasn’t time we were away yet! We’ve al­ways loved danc­ing. There are still

dances in Skip­ness and we still go.’

The new Mr and Mrs Shaw hon­ey­mooned in Eng­land. ‘Jean had a sis­ter in Der­byshire who couldn’t make it to the wed­ding, so we promised to go and visit her,’ Dun­can said.

The cou­ple went on to have a son and daugh­ter, born at Craigard ma­ter­nity hos­pi­tal, and now have four grand­chil­dren and a great-grand­son.

Dun­can and Jean still live in the home where they raised their chil­dren. ‘We love liv­ing here, that’s why we’ve never moved,’ said Jean. ‘We love our vil­lage and our church is very im­por­tant to us.’

‘It’s a great place to live,’ adds Dun­can.

The cou­ple, who said it is hard to be­lieve it has been 60 years, re­ceived nearly 100 cards from friends and fam­ily, and one from the Queen, to con­grat­u­late them on their di­a­mond an­niver­sary.

Dun­can and Jean held two par­ties at their home for their friends and fam­ily, one dur­ing the day and one in the evening.

Asked if they would share their se­cret to a long and happy mar­riage, Jean said: ‘You need to work at it and be tol­er­ant – it’s about give and take.’


Dun­can and Jean Shaw, with the card they re­ceived from the Queen.

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