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My Cardiff

David Vivian Thomas

David Vivian Thomas is married to Eileen Thomas (nee Jarman), the Student Union Vice–President 1954 – 1955. He remembers attending a Ball at Aberdare Hall, the still all-female hall of residence, with Eileen in the 1950’s.

David and Eileen in white tie and tails and ballgown

Vivian and Eileen

Aberdare Hall Ball was one of highlights in the year for the women students resident in the Hall.

It was held during the month of May, and every year I attended the weather was fine. I was in “digs” in Riverside and walked to Hall wearing white tie and tails, with, almost certainly, a coat on top.

The meal at the Ball was served in the Library, and on one occasion I remember sitting opposite Professor Willie Rees (History). I was told by my girl friend, Eileen, that I was expected to ask Miss O. Parry, the Warden, for a dance. The thought frightened me. I may have looked like Fred Astaire in my tails, but I certainly could not dance like him. I was assured that my invitation would not be accepted and so it turned out. However, it gave the much-respected Miss Parry an opportunity to “interview” the boy friend of one of her girls!

The first dance was a Paul Jones with Eileen Davies, the Senior Student, leading the way with her partner. When the music stopped she looked for a new partner and saw “Fred Astaire”. How disappointed she was I will never know, but dancing as one of two couples on the floor made me very embarrassed.

It is a pleasure for me and Eileen to congratulate the University on being in existence for 125 years. We, like thousands of others, gained so much from our years in Cardiff. There are others, too, in our families who owe much to the University. The first of those entered in 1904 and left in 1907. She was followed in the 1920s, 40s and 50s by eight other members, and there is another who is currently studying there. So you see there are good reasons for our being pleased that the University is still going, and with increasing prestige.

David and Eileen announced their engagement at a University Ball in 1954 and they were married in 1956. Read Eileen’s ‘My Cardiff’ story

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