Contained within the Greyhope bench plaque memorialising Bill and Meg Pirie is a tale of lasting love then heartbreaking loss.
Born and brought up in Torry, Meg – Margaret Reid – came into the world on October 10 1953. She was raised in Mansfield Place with her mum at home and her dad away to sea fishing.
She and her brother attended Victoria Road School then later went to Torry Academy.
William Pirie – always known as Bill – came from the city’s Sunnybank Road. He was born on Bonfire Night, 1952.
Love at the dancing
The young couple met at a dance via Bill’s sister, who had taken him along to a night out at the Denburn as her partner.
They wed in 1977 at John Knox Church, Mounthooly and started married life on Victoria Road, Torry, before moving on to Grampian Road.
They’d go on to have three children: Jenna, Martin and Liam.
Bill worked as an IT analyst, largely for Shell while Meg undertook auxiliary nursing at St John’s then the Albyn hospitals. Later she worked at Banks O’ Dee Care Home.
The location of the bench near Torry Battery has special importance for the family.
“Round there is part of our history,” said Jenna. “It was ways a place we loved to go.
“It’s actually a special place for lots of people in Torry. There’s still very much a community identity there.”
This was exemplified in the fact that Meg – who loved her walks down Victoria Road to do “her messages” – valued a chance to catch up with friends en-route.
“She’d be away hours – my mum knew everyone,” added Jenna. “Torry was in her blood.”
Though Bill hadn’t been in brilliant health, his death on September 12 2018 came as a shock.
“Mum just couldn’t live without him, it’s that simple,” said Jenna. “She had a broken heart when she died in April 2020.”
After their parents’ deaths the family scattered Bill’s ashes at Garthdee where his parents remains are. Meg’s ashes were scattered at Nigg Bay.
A place to remember
The plaque is a way for Bill and Meg to be reunited, and remembered by a community dear to them both.
Jenna added: “We do visit the bench. Especially on anniversaries and birthdays. My daughter was born just after my dad died and we take her there to speak about things. She knows that’s where to go to be near Granda Bill and Grandma Meg.”