WHEN he arrived back in Glasgow from Canada in December 1944, Dan Harris was 12 years old.

He had spent four years as a child evacuee during World War Two, away from his parents and his home. The first person he saw, stepping out the taxi which had brought him from the airport, was a ‘sad-looking wee girl’ standing at the next close.

“I asked my parents who she was, and they told me her name was Marion Scullion and she lived in the same tenement as us,” explains Dan, a regular contributor to Times Past.

“My mother added: ‘The reason she is so sad is that, like you, she has just come home from evacuation but sadly, while she was away, her mother died….”

Marion in her teens

Marion in her teens

Dan in 1955

Dan in 1955

Dan and Marion have just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary, and – prompted by our touching tale of Isabel and Brian McNulty’s lifelong romance in Times Past last week - Dan got in touch to share the story of the love of his life.

“Marion and I got engaged in June 1952, with the intention of waiting to be married once I had finished my National Service in November 1954,” says Dan.

“However, she accepted my proposal to get married while I was on embarkation leave prior to going to Germany.

“Thinking back, I was irresponsible. We didn’t have a house of our own. Marion lived with my parents until I was demobbed. After I was demobbed, we had a single end, with outside toilet, in Maryhill.”

Marion with best friend and bridesmaid Maisie.

Marion with best friend and bridesmaid Maisie.

He adds: “Owing to the ‘suddenness’ of our marriage, we only had a best man, my brother Billy, and a bridesmaid, Marion’s best friend Maisie, at our wedding ceremony.

“My mother was brokenhearted. She had planned to give us a big traditional wedding after I came out of the Army. We were married by a Sheriff, after obtaining a special licence, in March 1953.

“And after a brief time together, one week after our wedding I was off to Germany.”

Luckily, says Dan, his mother forgave him for the lack of a big wedding, and threw the young couple a great wedding party in her house following the marriage.

“The joint was jumping,” smiles Dan.

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“Marion worked as a sewing machinist at the time of our marriage. The factory she worked in, Vertis, was just around the corner from our tenement.

“When we got picked up by car to go to get married, it coincided with the lunch hour of the factory. I think the whole place must have turned up to see us getting driven away.

“We felt like royalty.”

Dan adds: “Mind you, it cost me a few bob. We lived on Garscube Road, a main road. The traffic was slowed down by the crowd. Many wee kids turned up for the ‘scramble’, so I was well prepared with a bag filled with small change to throw out of the window.

“My mother was a grocer so she gave me the coins. I think the traditional ‘scramble’ has gone from modern weddings.”

The chef serves dinner to Dan and Marion on their 68th wedding anniversary

The chef serves dinner to Dan and Marion on their 68th wedding anniversary

Having asked Marion to marry him, says Dan, he had ‘overlooked’ where they would spend their honeymoon.

“By a stroke of good fortune, one of Marion’s friends offered us the use of her single end on Dalmarnock Road for the week,” he smiles.

“So we had Dalmarnock Power Station just up the road, and the Gas Works behind us….”

He laughs: “Didn’t bother us, we were happy and in love…”

Dan and Marion’s first daughter Eleanor, now 65, was born three years later, and their second, Doreen – now 60 – followed.

“We have had a long and happy marriage, two lovely daughters, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren,” smiles Dan.

“However, fate has stepped in and our latest wedding anniversary was the strangest and most poignant of them all.”

Earlier this year, Marion moved in to Westwood House Care Home in East Kilbride.

“She is receiving wonderful attention,” says Dan.

“For our 68th wedding anniversary, we were given a surprise special lunch by the management and staff.

“We had an outhouse specially decorated for the occasion and our meal was not only prepared by the chef, but also served to us by him. To comply with the lockdown rules, one of us had to sit wearing a face mask while the other ate their course.”

He adds: “Putting this in perspective, that was insignificant.

“What was significant was that Marion and I had some time to ourselves before parting, just like we did 68 years ago. I will always be grateful to the management for this precious time together with Marion.”

Do you have a love story like Dan and Marion's? We'd love to hear it - email ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk to share your memories and photos.