Valentine’s Stories: Meet Marian and Roddy who fell in love 35 years ago at Ubiquitous Chip

“It was closing time and we all got up to leave together and as we were got to the corner of the lane, we just kind of walked round the same way. My friend and his friend vanished.”
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The Ubiquitous Chip is undeniably one of Glasgow’s most romantic restaurants, having been a feature of the West End for over 50 years it’s hosted plenty of first meetings, dates, engagements, anniversaries and weddings. In honour of Valentine’s Day we spoke to Marian and Roddy who have been married for 32 years to hear their story about first meeting in the upstairs bar.

Marian: “Each of us was here on a Tuesday night. I used to come with some friends and he used to come with some friends. This particular Tuesday I was in with one friend we were sitting at the bar, had been moaning about something, whatever had happened and then Roddy came over and said ‘let me buy you a drink’. And then I said to my friend ‘do i need to buy him a drink back?’ So I bought a pint and put it on the table.”

Roddy: “That’s one version of it. If you look at it from the other side. I wasn’t in the habit of just going up to people I don’t know. She was with her friend whom I had worked with previously so I knew somebody to say hello too. I had said to my friend Davy I was with that there was an interesting looking girl up at the bar there. So he knew I was making my move. I bought her a drink and her friend and that was how I made the first contact. That was the opening move established.”

Marian: “And then when I bought the pint, he said to Davy ‘I don’t want another drink’, so they split it and that was the end of that until it was time to go. Before we went I went downstairs to the loo and came back up. I’ll deny it to this day but..”

Roddy: “My friend Davy said she didn’t go downstairs to go to the loo she went to put on a face.”

Marian: “Not true. Ever. I still deny it thirty odd years down the line because it’s just habits with lipstick, you just always put it on.”

Roddy: “So she did put on a face, anyway.”

Marian: “It was closing time and we all got up to leave together and as we were got to the corner of the lane, we just kind of walked round the same way. My friend and his friend vanished.”

Roddy: “They were like arrows they just kind of disappeared and left us.”

Marian: “We looked everywhere, we thought it was quite odd. And then he walked me home.”

Roddy: “We walked down to the bottom of the lane and I found out I was on route to where Marion lived so we went up to my flat and I knew how to treat a girl well in those days.”

Marian: “Aww I was blown away by this.”

Roddy: “I had a quarter bottle of Aer Lingus champagne in a plastic bottle.”

Marian: “Free champagne.”

Roddy: “I asked ‘would you like some?’”

Marian: “No expense spared.”

Roddy: “And it happens she did like champagne because she drank it all, and that was my first romantic gesture.”

Marian: “And the rest they say is history.”

Roddy: “I walked Marian home, we made a date to see each other again and that was it. Three years later we were married on the anniversary of the day we met because we met on a Tuesday and three years later it was a Saturday so it was perfect. So now every June 27th we celebrate two anniversaries and this year it’ll be 32 years married and 35 since we met.”

Marian: “And two girls later.”

Roddy: “And two girls, yes. Who are both regulars in here as well. And we still come after all these years.”