A WELL-KNOWN Largs couple are getting set to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary this weekend.

Sandy and Josephine McCallum were married in St Columba's Parish Church in 1963 - though their paths first crossed while they were both at school, making them true 'childhood sweethearts'.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The couple's parents were both from the town, and their three children, Alasdair, Scott and Heather, still live locally.

During their 60 years of marriage, the couple have lived in Bermuda, Tarbert - Sandy's first charge after he was ordained as a Church of Scotland minister - and Saltcoats.

But they've always returned to Largs, where they are now enjoying retired life close to their children and grandchildren.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Both aged 83, the McCallums, who live in Woodcroft Avenue, are looking forward to celebrating their diamond wedding with their family at Scotts restaurant, at Largs Yacht Haven, on December 16.

For many years Sandy's father and his family ran the town's former Elderslie Hotel, where Sandy was born, while Josephine's father worked as a chef at the same hotel.

They were introduced by a classmate who passed Josephine a note from Sandy - and the rest is history.Largs and Millport Weekly News:


After their marriage 60 years ago, the couple celebrated at a reception in the Marine and Curlinghall Hotel, a short distance along the road from the Elderslie.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Not long after that, they emigrated to the slightly warmer surroundings of Bermuda after Sandy got a job in a hotel school, living on the North Atlantic island for more than six years before returning to Scotland.

After his father died, Sandy took over the running of the Elderslie Hotel before selling it on to the Pratt family.

He then taught catering and hotel management at James Watt College before answering the call of the church and training, and serving, as a minister - though despite his lifelong links to Largs he never actually worked in his home town.

Josephine worked as a postmistress before becoming a dedicated minister's wife.

Son Scott said: "My dad is a great believer in trusting God. Life has its way, and for me, both mum and dad were meant to be together from a young age and are just so happy together."

Sandy, who is also a musician and fan of jazz music, played the drums with Charlie Harkins and the Kit Kat Band and plays in the West Kilbride Village Band - and it's a skill he's passed on to Scott, who is drummer for Crisis and Papa Booch and the Amigos.

Sandy also still sings in the church choir and has been a regular helper at the fetes in St Columba's Church over the years.

Sandy is still singing in the church choir, and also helped out at the St Columba's Church fetes over the years.