“My mum and dad celebrate their 50th Wedding anniversary on 3rd October 2020. They met at Bangor University in 1969 where they studied mathematics together. They were married at Mount Zion Chapel in Gornal Wood and have two sons (Ben and I) and three grandchildren.
Mum grew up in the West Midlands and was driven up to the University by her dad with a wooden trunk of possessions (the trunk is now used as a trendy coffee table in my flat!). Dad's family live more locally - he studied at Caernarfon Grammar School before coming to Bangor. They both loved their time as students in Bangor and even now frequently recall the eccentricities of their lecturers, the activities they took part in and the good times they had.
After they graduated, mum went on to have a career in computer programming, accountancy and later a teacher of mathematics to GCSE and A-level students. She's now retired, but remains active helping to organise the allotment society in Blaenau Ffestiniog where they now live. In the early days of the society, she was a key player in several successful funding applications which helped to kick the project off. Dad also worked in education for the majority of his career, ending it as principle a lecturer in Operations Research at DeMontfort University, Leicester. After retiring, Dad went on to complete a BSc in Welsh Language at Aberystwyth and later returned to complete a PhD at Bangor, researching the poetry of the medieval bards Ieuan ap Gruffudd Leiaf, Robert Leiaf, Syr Siôn Leiaf and Rhys Goch Glyndyfrdwy.
As students at Bangor they used to enjoy strolls along Bangor pier. Dad asked mum out on the way home after they had been out for a drink at one of the local pubs. On the last day of their finals, after the last exam they took a bus together to Beaumaris and enjoyed tea and scones and some sunshine together. They are still in love now as much as they were then.
They have obviously had massive influences on both our lives. Ben continued the mathematical tradition in the family, studying Pure Mathematics as an undergraduate himself and then later for a PhD in Statistics - he also married another mathematician! I studied engineering at University and also went on to complete a PhD before starting a career in industry.”