A COUPLE who met in the offices of a Borders mill have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Mae Pearce first set eyes on her future husband Eric when he began working in the Henry Ballantyne Mill in Walkerburn - but it took some time for their romance to blossom.

“I was just 19 when Eric came to work at the mill,” said 81-year-old Mae. “He’d been there a year before we started going out. We finally got engaged before Christmas 1953.” The couple have lived their entire married life in Walkerburn and were married by the Rev Donald Davidson at the village Parish Church on January 29, 1955.

“I am not sure what the secret is of our long marriage - we just get on well together. We are best friends and have been involved in many things locally,“ said Mae.

Eric, 87, said: “I suppose ours could be described as an office romance.

“Over the years we’ve seldom argued and both of us have the same mind about very much everything.” Mae has lived in Walkerburn all her life while her husband moved there from Innerleithen when he was seven.

She gave up her work after marriage to raise her family but did work part-time when the children reached school age.

Eric stayed at the mill in Walkerburn until it closed in 1969 and then worked in the accounts office at Robert Noble in Peebles until he retired in 1992.

The couple have both taken a keen interest in community affairs - Mae has enjoyed her involvement with the Church and Women’s Guild, while Eric has been a community councillor and written a book on Walkerburn history.

A keen fishermen and bowler, Eric is also a member of Walkerburn Rugby Club. In his younger days he played rugby and was a professional runner taking part in Borders games and regularly at Powderhall in Edinburgh.

The couple were joined by their three daughters and five of their six grandchildren at the Park Hotel in Peebles last Saturday for a party to mark their 60 years of marriage.