Pensioner's hotel return after finding dinner menu from 1958 proposal

The 96-year-old made an emotional bus journey to relive a memorable night at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick.

Pensioner’s return to Marine Hotel in North Berwick after finding dinner menu from 1958 proposal

A pensioner has returned to the hotel where he proposed in 1958 after finding the dinner menu from that memorable night.

R G Scott, 96, made the discovery while tidying a drawer at his Edinburgh home and took a 90-minute bus journey to the Marine Hotel in North Berwick to show staff.

The menu from October 18, 1958 featured lobster cocktail, smoked salmon, lemon sole and roast spring chicken, followed by a buffet of sweets, including pear cardinal and cheeses for dessert.

Mr Scott fondly remembers the milestone meal where he asked his beloved wife June to marry him.

Mr Scott found the menu in a drawer at his Edinburgh home.

He told STV News: “That dinner was quite a memorable occasion. It was a lounge-suit affair but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

“She wasn’t surprised when I proposed and she gladly accepted. One thing I do remember is, when we got to the pudding situation, there was a marvellous buffet of all the different sweets.

“My wife couldn’t choose and jokingly the waiter said ‘why not have a small portion of everything that you can see?’. We did. There were eight to ten items.

He added: “I must say, I had a better appetite then than I do now!”

The five-course meal came to 17 shillings and six pence for five courses, which Mr Scott said was “a lot of money at the time”.

“The manager I spoke to at the hotel went to speak to the chef to ask what the meal would cost today; he said it would probably be around £100 each,” he said.

Former British Transport Commission worker Mr Scott first met eyes with the former typist across the dance floor at the Plaza Ballroom in Edinburgh in 1956.

Both had the privilege of a landline phone at home, mostly used by their fathers for work, so arranging another meet-up was done the old-fashioned way.

The pair enjoyed a happy 50 years of marriage.

“Landlines were popular, but not as widespread as they are today,” he said.

“Basically, when you were leaving of an evening, you had to arrange the next date, because communications are not what they are now with texting and WhatsApp.

“It’s changing again now, I’ve got so many relatives and friends who don’t even use a landline and have a mobile phone instead. It’s a sign of the times.”

The couple tied the knot aged 29 and 24 at the Gorgie Road Church in Edinburgh in April 1960, before honeymooning in London, Brussels and Paris.

Mr and Mrs Scott enjoyed meals out and travelling abroad to Europe.

The couple enjoyed travelling and regularly dined out together throughout the years.

They went on to have two daughters, Jane and Claire, and three grandchildren – Harvey, 19, Ella, 16, and 12-year-old Calleigh.

“My wife was a very good looking, confident young woman and fashion-conscious,” he said. “She regularly modelled for ladies’ clothing shops.

“She was accomplished too; a secretary PA at Standard Life. She could type out meetings verbatim using her shorthand.”

June died after a stroke in September 2010, just months after the pair celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Mr Scott and his wife with their two daughters

Mr Scott said the key to their long, happy marriage was nipping arguments in the bud.

“We had stamina back then – if we had a tiff, that was quickly sorted out,” he said.

“You have this situation where you don’t agree on an insignificant thing, and after five minutes you realise what a waste of time it was, whether it was holidays or clothes or whatever.

He added: “Life is too short.”

The Marine North Berwick Hotel said: “At Marine North Berwick, we love storytelling. When a gentleman paid us a visit and showed us an old menu from the 1950s, from the night he proposed to his wife 65 years ago, we were enchanted.

“The beauty of North Berwick is – and always has been – a truly romantic setting, and we hope that our hotel will continue to witness such special occasions in the years to come.”

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