Pair saddle up for love

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When chivalrous Alex Donaldson came to the rescue of a girl who had fallen off her bike, little did he realise that 62 years later they would be celebrating a Diamond Wedding together.

The Donaldsons, who have nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren, met during a chance meeting in Gullane.

Part of separate groups, the 18-year-olds, both living in Edinburgh at the time, were out for a cycle when Jessie fell off her bike and injured her knee.

The perfect gentleman, Alex gave the damsel in distress his handkerchief, which she returned to him the following day.

Once acquainted, the smitten pair enjoyed their first date when Alex took Jessie to see the movie Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland, at the Regal Cinema on Lothian Road.

Two years later they were married at the Old Kirk, Pennywell Road, on February 15, 1952.

Their wedding reception took place at the Wee Windows on the High Street.

The newly-married couple rented a room in Portobello for some time before moving to the capital’s Maryfield area where they started a family.

Alex (80) qualified as a panel beater and then completed his military service in the RAF.

On leaving the military he attended Moray House and became a craft and design teacher at St David’s High in Dalkeith.

Around this time the Donaldsons moved to Danderhall Crescent, Danderhall, where they remain to this day. Alex went on to set up a caravan business, however his heart remained in teaching and he returned to St David’s.

Jessie worked as a typist at an office at Edinburgh’s Rutland Square for most of her working life.

A current member of Danderhall Miners’ Welfare, she enjoys a weekly swim at Portobello Swimming Pool and is looking forward to the Commonwealth Pool reopening later this month.

Jessie (80) also enjoys knitting, while Alex likes to fish, collect coins and make his own wine.

The secret to a successful marriage, according to Alex, is “keeping busy.” For Jessie its “having patience with each other.”