Corby couple whose marriage began on the buses celebrate 65 years of wedded bliss

Willie and Lily Latta met in Glasgow

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 1:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 1:16 pm

A Corby couple have notched up 65 years of wedded bliss after an inauspicious start to their relationship - when they had bumped into each other on the stairs to the wages office where they worked.

Former mayor of Corby Willie Latta and wife Lily met when they worked on the Glasgow city buses - he a driver and she a conductress - but he drove her mad on their first encounter.

But their first brush was quickly followed by another chance meeting at a dance hall where the pair hit it off, and within 10 months they were married on June 22, 1956 at Temple Church.

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Lily and Willie Latta
Lily and Willie Latta

Today (Tuesday) they're celebrating their 65th anniversary.

Lily 84, said: "He bumped into me on the stairs on the way to collect our wages. I said to my friend 'who the hang does he think he is?'"

The next night they saw each other again at the Glasgow Playhouse dance hall as they bopped to Dr Crock and his Crackpots.

Lily said: "We had only been going together for about four months when he proposed. We got married within 10 months of meeting."

In their mayoral year

As newly-weds the couple would swap shifts with colleagues so they could be on the same bus and it's working together as a team that is the secret to their success.

Willie said: "We have always worked hard as a team. We do have arguments but we make up."

As a young family, the couple moved to Corby in 1962 to escape the five-storey tenement building they were living in - children William, now 61, and sister Susan, now 59, were able to move into a brand new house on the Beanfield estate and jobs were plentiful.

Lily worked picking potatoes for six years and in the Aquascutum factory, finishing her working life at Gloveralls working a 'man's job' that she made sure she was getting paid the same as her male colleagues.

WIllie, 86, served as a councillor for 26 years. After stints at the tube and steel works and RS Components, Willie returned to his driving career and when mayor of Corby in 2002 to 2003 he fitted his shifts around his civic engagements.

He said: "We met Earl Spencer and the Duke of Kent. My proudest achievement was as chairman of the planning committee. I oversaw the redevelopment of the town centre including The Cube and the swimming pool as well as the Earlstrees Industrial Estate and Priors Hall."

Away from his civic duties, the pair have made the most of their holidays travelling to sunny climes but the pair aren't compatible in the hot weather - Lily seeks out the heat, whilst Willie prefers the shade of a parasol.

The couple will be celebrating reaching their sapphire anniversary milestone with family including their grandchildren Gemma and Craig and ten-year-old great-granddaughter Autumn.

Lily added: "We have worked hard for everything we have. We work as a team."