A couple have just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a surprise family party and a trip to the top of the Malvern Hills.

Russell and Ann Thomas first met at a Young Farmers’ dance.

Both Mr and Mrs Thomas were born and brought up in farming families in the Ludlow area.

Mr Thomas offered to drive Ann and her friends home in his ex-US army jeep, an offer they were grateful for until the next morning, when they found their dresses stained with grease and engine oil.

Notwithstanding this inauspicious start, the couple, from Malvern, hit it off. They married at Leominster on August 28, 1954.

Mr Thomas gained a scholarship in engineering and was later well known in the area for his ability to fix everything from a Rolls Royce to a combine harvester. He later gained a private pilot’s licence at Shobdon airfield and enjoyed flying over the area.

Mrs Thomas also worked helping families who had to cope with sudden difficulties such as bereavement.

The couple had two daughters, Suzanne, who died, and Rachel, as well as fostering a number of children.

A few years ago, Mr and Mrs Thomas moved to Cartwright Court, a retirement development at Worcester Road, Malvern, where they enjoy views over the Malvern Hills.

A surprise party was held there as family members and friends gathered to wish them well in their anniversary

And the same week that they celebrated their anniversary, they were treated to a trip to the top of the hills, thanks to the access scheme operated by the Rotary Club of Malvern and Land Rover.

Daughter Rachel Thomas said: “My parents were delighted to have the chance to have the chance to look down from the top of the hills on to where they live, as they spend so much time sitting at their window, looking up at the beautiful hills.

“They are most grateful to the Rotary Club for giving them this opportunity.”


Hero rescued drowning canoeist from river in Worcester.

Innovative bat-friendly lighting project installed in Warndon.