Edinburgh couple celebrates Fringe longevity
World Fringe Day is a global celebration of all things fringe and this year, fringes of the world are invited to tell their stories and show the world what makes each of them unique. Edinburgh’s Fringe has been running for 71 years and has touched the lives of millions of people, including Edinburgh residents Alec and Isabella Loudon. Mr and Mrs Loudon started dating in 1947 – the same year as the first ever Fringe and were married in 1952. This year, as Edinburgh’s Fringe celebrates its 71st anniversary, the Loudons will celebrate 65 years of marriage.
Alec served as a soldier in World War Two and was stationed in India at the end of the war. When he returned to Edinburgh in 1947 he began dating Isabella, who he had met at a church youth group some years before. Isabella attended shows at the first ever Fringe in 1947, and together, the couple have attended the Fringe in nearly every year of its 71-year history.
The Loudons have been to hundreds of Fringe shows over the years, often featuring local performers and theatre groups. They introduced their children and grandchildren to the arts through the Fringe, taking them to see youth orchestras, street performers and puppet shows. The Loudon family continue to attend the Fringe, waiting with anticipation for the Fringe Programme to come out every year. “When the programme comes out, we come up and collect them for the family, and we all sit and look through and decide what we’d like to go and see. We sit every night, for practically a week, marking off shows that we’d like to go and see” (Isabella Loudon).
Over the last 71 years the Loudons have watched the Fringe grow and bring more and more people to Edinburgh from around the world: “The atmosphere on the Fringe is something totally different from what you would normally expect. So many people come from outside Edinburgh now and everyone seems to get on so well, you can meet so many different people and hear so many different languages, I really thing the Fringe has generated a lot of friendliness within people, which is a good thing” (Alec Loudon). Indeed, the Fringe is an international sensation! To tell us stories from your city’s fringe, get in touch with us and use the #WorldFringeDay hashtag on social media on 11 July 2018!