Surprise visit from Provost as Forfar couple celebrate diamond wedding

The Hoys with Sandy Watson, Helen Oswald and Councillor Ian McLaren.
The Hoys with Sandy Watson, Helen Oswald and Councillor Ian McLaren.

There was a surprise in store for Forfar couple James and Helen Hoy on Thursday when they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at their home in Kemsley Place.

As well as receiving a card signed by Her Majesty the Queen, they had a surprise visit from Helen Oswald, Provost of Angus, and Sandy Watson, Deputy Lieutenant of Angus.

Our secret to 60 years together is just working together.

James Hoy

The surprise was organised by their grand-daughter, 22-year-old Kirsty Marr, who wanted to organise “something special for a special couple.”

The Hoys, who both hail from Forfar, met at the Palais in Castle Street where they enjoyed their mutual love of dancing.

They were married in St James Church in Forfar on March 26, 1955 with a reception in the Co-op Hall in Couttie’s Wynd.

Helen (80) worked in the East Post Port office while James (84) worked as a joiner.

He started out with James Samson in West Sunnyside before working for E & D Nicoll in the town.

He then moved to work in Dundee as a joiner with Charles Gray builders, which later became Hall and Tawse, from where he retired.

Helen left her job at the Post Office to raise the couple’s two children - Arlene and Edward - returning to work as cleaner at Forfar Academy.

Their love of ballroom dancing saw them enter local amateur competitions, and they gave Scottish dancing demonstrations to holiday-makers at the Dykehead Hotel.

They are both fans of the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ with James regularly judging the competitors.

James also spent 45 years as a volunteer with St Andrew’s First Aid, offering First Aid support at numerous events throughout the county, and he was also a drummer with the Forfar Pipe Band for 25 years.

He said: “Our secret to 60 years together is just working together. We have done everything together,”

The couple, who have six grandchildren, celebrated anniversary with a party in Troopers on Friday and James gave Helen a new diamond ring to mark the occasion.