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Dougie and Olive Bell

Kindness hailed as the secret to a 60 year long love story

14 February 2021


Dougie and Olive Bell

THE FAMILY of a couple who spent 60 years travelling the world creating memories have reminisced on their parent’s love story ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Douglas Bell sadly passed away in 2019 at the age of 93 after celebrating a diamond wedding anniversary and more than 60 Valentine’s Days with his beloved wife, Olive Bell. Olive is a current resident at Cramond and will be 90 on 2 March.

In 1957, Olive was working as a nurse in a nursing home in Marchmont and Douglas was the visiting GP, the pair met one night over a patient’s bed.
Just a few days later, the pair went on their first date to Peebles and were inseparable from then on.

One year after their first date, the love birds tied the knot in a registry office in Edinburgh on 8 May 1958 and had their first of three daughters the following February.

Since then, they enjoyed a long and happy relationship bringing up three daughters; Susan (61), Rosalind (60) and Alison (57) who have given them seven grandchildren, making them grandparents to a total of twelve children and five great-grand children, as Douglas had two children from a previous marriage.

The couple always had a passion for travel and wanted to see as much of the world as they could. Many happy memories were created on family holidays down in Devon – in the early days, trunks of beach towels and bedding were sent down in advance to the holiday cottage in South Devon, and the family would follow shortly after. The car would board the train and the family would all be in sleeper cabins, waking up in Newton Abbot the next day.

In later years Olive and Douglas took the family to France, Spain, Italy, Norway and Canada and then travelled themselves to Florida, the Maldives, South Africa, Singapore and Australia on a number of occasions to visit different family members.

In their latter years together they even enjoyed river cruises, in particular a trip down the Danube and then the Douro in Portugal – aged 90 and aged 84!
Rosalind Lawson, daughter of Douglas and Olive, said: “My mum and dad were inseparable from the day they met and their love for each other grew stronger and stronger over the years.

“Their love story will be something the family will all treasure forever as they are the perfect real-life example of true love, of a couple who were destined to be together.”

Douglas and Olive claim their secret to their long and blossoming love story was to stay curious and interested in people, but most importantly – to be kind.

In October 2018, Douglas and Olive became the first residents at Cramond Residence and their love story continues to be admired by staff, residents and visitors alike when they hear of the amazing memories the couple made throughout their 60 years of happiness.