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‘We still laugh at everything’ How classroom banter sparked 60 years of romance for Ian and Ceinwen

PUBLISHED: 06:30 12 July 2020

Ceinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ceinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Ian and Ceinwen Thomas met at Aberystwyth University in 1956 where they studied geography and music respectively.

Ceinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCeinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Thomas, 82, who was born in London, was sitting with a friend in front of his future wife, who was born in North Wales, and her friend, who came from South Wales.

Mr Thomas said: “As students you have a bit of banter backwards and forwards and we were asking them to say a couple of words in English with a Welsh accent, I think they thought we were being snooty.”

Fortunately the request was taken with a good sense of humour, an attribute the couple says has continued throughout their marriage - though Mrs Thomas added she did not have a good aim to “kick” when she needed to.

Mrs Thomas recalled: “We get on incredibly well and we have a good laugh. We have a laugh at everything and still do.”

Ian and Ceinwen Thomas on their wedding day on July 12 1960. Picture: Thomas familyIan and Ceinwen Thomas on their wedding day on July 12 1960. Picture: Thomas family

More: Retired teacher celebrating Clap for Our Carers with musical tribute

As they began seeing each other they went to many student social events, either through Mrs Thomas’s musical connections or to have a dance to pop music on a Saturday night.

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Mrs Thomas, 81, said she was part of a “naughty bunch” and recalled having to be back at her hall of residence by 10pm or face being grounded from going out the next night.

As romance blossomed, it was a year in that Mr Thomas realised he had been pronouncing her name incorrectly, due to Ceinwen, said Caenwhen, being said differently by her South Wales friend.

Ceinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCeinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It wasn’t until I met her family a year or more later that I was mistaken, by which time it was too late,” he said.

They married in Capel er Groes chapel on July 12 1960 at the age of 22, with Mrs Thomas wearing a wedding dress made by her mother.

They settled in Norwich in 1974, still living in the address in Bluebell Road.

Mr Thomas worked at the University of East Anglia and Mrs Thomas taught music at Lakenham Middle School, Sprowston Middle School and Blackdale Middle School until their retirment in 1998.

Ceinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCeinwen and Ian Thomas are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The couple, who have two children, Glenda and David, were due to be abroad in Portugal for their anniversary but will welcome members of the family for a socially distanced celebration.

During lockdown, Mrs Thomas has been playing her harp in the street as part of the Clap for Carers celebrations.


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