Diamond couple celebrates 60 years

Gerald and Gilda Hammond
Gerald and Gilda Hammond

A Deeside couple who met at a local dance have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Gerald and Gilda Hammond, of St Eunan’s Road, Aboyne, marked 60 years of marriage on August 22. They met at a dance in Aberdeen, when Gerald was an architectural student at Gray’s College, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, and Gilda was a trained nurse, working at St John’s Nursing Home in Aberdeen (now Albyn Hospital).

The couple’s daughter-in-law, Anne Hammond said: “Gilda was very attracted to the tall, handsome young man and Gerald attracted to this slim, tall, attractive young lady with the most beautiful auburn hair.

“He asked her up to dance and that was the start of over 60 years together.”

They pair went on to marry in St John’s Church, Aberdeen, on August 22 1952 - the same year as Elizabeth became Queen.

Gilda, 87, nursed in the WRAF during the war and her work took her to various hospitals, including Liverpool and Stracathro, where she helped nurse soldiers back to health.

Anne said that over the years, the couple had lived on a house boat on the Thames, moved to Aberdeen, Tayport in Fife, Livingston and Newport in Fife, before retiring to Aboyne.

“Gilda has stood firmly at the helm, holding fort raising their three sons, while Gerald, when not in the architectural office, spent his free time building a racing car, a yacht and a house boat. He also designed their house at Livingston,” said Anne.

“If that wasn’t enough to be doing, he also started writing articles for the Shooting Times magazine and other country magazines and then chose to write a book - he has now written and published more than 80 crime novels with followers of his work all over the world and at the young age of 86, has started on his autobiography.”

The couple has three sons, Peter, 58; David, 55; and Steven, 48; six granddaughters, one grandson and two great-granddaughters, with a third great-grandchild due in November.

All three sons are married with family, Peter and Helen have two daughters, David and Anne live in Aboyne and have two daughters and Steven and Pom have two daughters.