St Andrews diamond couple still sparkling

Professor and Mrs Upton.
Professor and Mrs Upton.

WELL-known St Andrews couple, Professor Emeritus Anthony Upton and his wife, Sirkka, have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at a family party.

The couple, who were married in Finland, first met at the annual Oxford University’s Queens College summer ball in June of 1950.

Finnish-born Mrs Upton, who had graduated in economics and business studies in Helsinki, was spending the summer in the United Kindgom to improve her English when she was first introduced to her husband-to-be by his brother.

At the time Professor Upton, who was born in the north of England, was studying history at Queens College.

The couple were married in the summer of 1951.

Professor and Mrs Upton began married life in Cambridge and, following short spells in the USA and Leeds, came to Fife in 1956 when Anthony took up an appointment as a lecturer in modern history at St Andrews University.

Following a lengthy career, Professor Upton retired in 1995 having reached the position of Professor of Nordic History in 1983.

However, even after his retirement he continued to teach until 2003, completing exactly 50 years as a university teacher. Not surprisingly an interest in Finnish history was an ongoing theme throughout his academic career and his research interest was principally in the history of Scandinavia and Finland.

His main publications include The Communist Parties of Finland and Scandinavia and The Finnish Revolution 1917-1918, Charles XI and the Swedish Absolutism and Europe: 1600-1789.

In the summer of 2000 Professor Upton was conferred with an honorary degree from the University of Helsinki.

Mrs Upton supported her husband throughout his academic career, translating a number of his books into Finnish. In addition she also undertook voluntary work for 17 years at the St Andrews Citizens Advice Bureau.

The couple have three sons, Jeremy, Nick and Tim, and five grandchildren.