A Garnock Valley couple have celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Willie Black, 89, and Elizabeth (Betty) Thomson, 84, celebrated 60 years of marriage on September 24.

Both were raised in Beith and soon after the wedding they were allocated a council house in Kilbirnie where they have now lived for 60 years.

Willie trained as a cabinet maker in McNeil Brothers in Beith then moved to various cabinet works in Greenock, Lochwinnoch and then back to Beith, before retiring at age 62.

Willie is a keen Freemason, joining the craft in Beith Lodge in 1954. He is renowned throughout North Ayrshire for his outstanding record of commitment to Freemasonry. He is an honorary member of seven lodges, including the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire.

He is also a keen member of Barrmill Jolly Beggars Burns Club.

Betty worked in Templetons Supermarket in Beith and later was an assistant cook at Garnock Academy.

Asked about the secret of a happy marriage Betty joked: “I think it might be something to do with the fact that Willie is out most nights of the week at masonic meetings! But we do get on very well indeed.”

Willie added: “I chose well with Betty, but I do spend a lot of time at masonic meetings, so when we are together we’ve usually got lots to talk about.”

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant Erica Lockett presented the couple with a telegram card from the Queen and Provost Ian Clarkson presented a large bouquet of flowers for Betty and a bottle of whisky for Willie.