A couple from Malaysia who first met in Lynn when they were at college together have told how coming back this week for the first time has been “wonderful”.
Jefri and Raja Hussein were students together in the mid-1980s, along with nine other students from their country, taking A-levels in subjects such as accounting, English, Maths and statistics at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology (NORCAT.
They began going out together in the second year of the two-year course and later got married.
Staff at the College of West Anglia, as it is today, welcomed them as honoured guests on Monday.
Jefri, 52, said: “It is wonderful to be back. It is 32 years since we last came here.
“It is amazing to look at the college now. It has grown so much since we were there and it was nice to meet the people there now.
“We have been walking around the High Street remembering the shops and looking at the places that we used to stay.
“I feel I’m back in the 1980s ... they are playing 1980’s songs in all the shops.
“I think that it is better from what it used to be. The shops are now as good as the ones they have in London. It wasn’t like that before.”
One place that really brought back the memories for the couple was on the corner of New Conduit Street in the middle of town – the Wimpy burger restaurant.
Jefri went on to have a successful career as a banker and later a freelance translator, while his wife did equally well in finance and property development.
They both remember West Norfolk as very welcoming and can recall no prejudice shown to them at the time.
He said: “I was an 18-year-old boy from a small town in Malaysia. I had never left home before. To come overseas for the first time was very scary, but exciting.
“It helped we had seniors to talk to us, they were at university but they came down.
“At the college they were really, really nice people. I remember all the teacher’s names even until today.”
The couple live in the furthest northern state of Perlis in Malaysia.
They flew home on Wednesday with many happy memories. Jefri said that the old gang still keep together via a WhatsApp group called KL Boys and Girls.
He said: I feel 18 again, just being here.”