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Wife’s special St Valentine’s Day message lights up Norwich Castle

PUBLISHED: 19:44 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:44 13 February 2018

Christine Hendry and her husband Ian Abernethy, with Christine's valentine message to Ian projected on the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Christine Hendry and her husband Ian Abernethy, with Christine's valentine message to Ian projected on the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

They married at Norwich Castle and this St Valentine’s Day the city landmark is being lit up in celebration of their love.

Christine Hendry's valentine message to her husband Ian Abernethy projected onto the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChristine Hendry's valentine message to her husband Ian Abernethy projected onto the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Christine Hendry, 54, was the winner of a Norwich BID and VisitNorwich St Valentine’s Day competition and her prize was to have a special message for her husband, Ian Abernethy, 53, adorn the castle.

“Ian, 23 years on and still you thrill me. Christine,” are the words she chose, and the couple visited Norwich on Tuesday evening for the offical switch-on of the message which will also light up the castle on St Valentine’s Day.

“Oh wow,” was Ms Hendry’s reaction when she saw her words on the castle, with Mr Abernethy saying, “now that’s an image.”

The couple, who run Picaroons Bed and Breakfast in Sheringham, said they felt both privileged and overwhelmed to have the message on the castle.

Christine Hendry and her husband Ian Abernethy, with Christine's valentine message to Ian projected on the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChristine Hendry and her husband Ian Abernethy, with Christine's valentine message to Ian projected on the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Hendry said: “We are absolutely thrilled, to be such a part of a city project is lovely. We are overwhelmed to be honest.”

Mr Abernethy, who had also entered the competition, added: “To see Christine’s message there means a great deal. I was really excited to see it. I’d never seen anything quite like it before. That message is going to remain with me forever.”

Ms Hendry had beaten hundreds of entries to win the competition, and the judging panel described her entry as “a wonderful and romantic love story.”

Ms Hendry and Mr Abernethy were childhood friends from age 11 and eventually became a couple just before Mr Abernethy’s 30th birthday.

Winners of the BID and Visit Norwich's competition, Christine Hendry and her husband Ian Abernethy, with Christine's valentine message to Ian projected on the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYWinners of the BID and Visit Norwich's competition, Christine Hendry and her husband Ian Abernethy, with Christine's valentine message to Ian projected on the Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Since then they have rarely had a day apart and they married in Norwich Castle in December 2016.

In her competition entry, Ms Hendry explained that they have “been laughing together for over 40 years” and how “Ian is the only person who can consistently surprise me.”

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, also presented the couple with flowers and gifts as they looked at the projection on the castle from the steps of City Hall.

He said: “This was just a nice opportunity to do something lovely for two great people, a lovely story and just something that continues that idea of Norwich as a city of stories. It was great to put the message onto such a beautiful landmark in Norwich and hopefully it’s the first of many things we will be able to celebrate this way.”

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