Scotland

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Lovebirds Share Secrets To 50 Years Of Marriage

Andrew and his wife Sue met while performing at the 1971 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and married six weeks later.

A couple who met while performing at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and married six weeks later are sharing their secrets to married bliss ahead of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Andrew Gilmour, 69, and his wife Sue, 71, performed at the 1971 Tattoo as a piper and dancer, with The 1st Battalion The Royal Scots Pipes and Drums.

Due to a last-minute change, an extra dancer was needed in the show and when Sue was chosen she soon coupled up with Andrew after a "love at first sight" meeting.

Married shortly afterwards in a small ceremony at South Queensferry on 9 September 1971, they were treated to a surprise reception laid on by the Army at Edinburgh's Craigiehall Barracks.

Andrew and Sue today, 50 years on (Picture: Stripe Communications).

Speaking about the 1971 Tattoo performance when they first met, Sue said their meeting was fate.

"I actually had no Scottish country dancing experience, but I put my hand up and learned the whole routine within a week.

"It was backstage after the show when I eventually got to speak to Andrew, and I knew within half an hour that he was the one.

"I told my friends 'that's the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with'."

Andrew also recalled the early days and the part the Army played in their lives and their wedding reception.

"Sue is originally from Plymouth so wasn't able to have any family at the wedding and we had no honeymoon because I was immediately off on tour to Ireland afterward.

"I can still remember getting back from that tour and visiting my wife's parents for the first time – six months after we'd married!" he added.

Andrew would eventually leave the Army because of injury and go on to become a bus driver, but his connection to the Tattoo didn't end, as he took a job transporting performers at future Tattoo performances.

Andrew ans Sue celebrating on their wedding day in 1971 (Picture: Stripe Communications).

Now offering some advice for other couples, the pair recommend building a strong foundation off the back of initial attraction.

"Laughter is also the best medicine. Andrew makes me laugh every day. And I'd tell people to listen and make decisions as a team. We always discuss things and neither of us would go off and make a big decision without speaking to the other first.

"A little bit of romance also goes a long way. He's always been very romantic and when he gives me his cheeky wink, I just fall in love all over again."

Cover image: Andrew and Sue in 1971 (Picture: Stripe Communications).