Attleborough man celebrates his 70th wedding anniversary - on his 90th birthday
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
Reaching your 90th birthday is quite a milestone to celebrate in anyone's book.
But for Thomas Beven, it was an extra special cause for celebration - as he also marked his 70th wedding anniversary on the very same day.
Mr Beven, of Buckenham Road, Attleborough, married Irene on his 20th birthday in 1947.
'We had to get married in truth,' he explained.
'They were getting rid of the basic petrol ration, so we wouldn't be able to see each other unless we lived together - and to live together, we had to be married.'
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The couple first met at Samson and Hercules in Tombland, Norwich, which was a ballroom at the time.
Mr Beven said: 'I saw her on the steps and I made a beeline for her - but just as I got up to her I decided that was a silly thing to do, because if I had introduced myself to her then I would have to pay for her to go in, so I waited until we had got inside.
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'It took me a few dances to find her but I haven't let go of her since.'
To mark the special occasion, 26 members of Mr and Mrs Beven's family gathered for a celebratory luncheon.
The couple received an array of gifts, including a congratulatory card from the Queen.
Mr Beven has met the ruling monarch a number of times.
Mr Beven said: 'The first time I met the Queen was when I was about seven years of age and I was walking down the street in Sandringham, and who should be coming towards me but King George V and his two granddaughters. He came straight across to me and asked what my favourite subject was and I said sums. He said you keep counting your money boy and you'll be all right. The second time was over tea on the lawn at Sandringham with my father - that was the first time I was offered a cucumber sandwich from a man in white gloves.'
Mr and Mrs Beven have four children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He said: 'It is absolutely unbelievable - time has gone so fast you wouldn't think it is possible. One day you'll wake up and a 90-year-old will be staring you in the face.'
As for the secret to a long marriage, Mr Beven thinks his wife holds the key.
He said: 'Someone has to be very tolerable, and I don't think it's me.'