An 85-year-old widow has been reunited with her long-lost wedding ring after hundreds of people turned online detective.
Alice Thomson’s gold band was found in a plant pot by tour guide Debbie Davidson when she took up gardening to pass the time during lockdown in Edinburgh.
Ms Davidson discovered the ring, which had been stolen in a burglary many years earlier, in a clod of earth as she was repotting a huge plant that had been housed in a meter-high container.
The inscription read: “Norman and Alice 5.8.61″.
At first, Ms Davidson tried to trace the ring’s owner via Facebook, posting: “Looking for either Alice or Norman who got married 5.8.61. May be from Edinburgh or Inveresk.
“I found a wedding ring in huge plant pot when repotting plant. I would like the ring was returned to the owner. Let me know if you can help.”
Her search went viral when her old school friend, BBC Radio 4 presenter Martha Kearney, posted her message on Twitter.
This is from a friend of mine in Edinburgh: “Looking for either Alice or Norman who got married 5.8.61. May be from Edinburgh or Inveresk. I found a wedding ring in huge plant pot when repotting plant. I would like the ring was returned to the owner.”Let me know if you can help
— Martha Kearney (@Marthakearney) August 2, 2020
Hundreds of people combed Scotland’s national records to try to track down the couple, and one managed to find Alice and Norman Thomson on the marriage register.
Another, Jane Bloomfield, discovered the couple’s daughter, Morag, on Instagram.
Ms Bloomfield told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I did feel quite nervous about getting in touch with Morag because I did feel it was a bit intrusive, but she was really, really pleased that it had been found because it was something that had been stolen in a burglary.”
I have been conversing with their daughter. She is thrilled the ring has been found. Norman died a few years ago. Please DM me if you want her details.
— Jane Bloomfield (@janeblott) August 3, 2020
She added: “I’m not quite sure what made me dig so much but, once I had started, I really wanted to keep going, and it was a really lovely feeling to know I had been able to find Norman and Alice’s daughter and to be able to put her in touch with the ring.”
From Alice Thomson and her daughter Morag: “I would like to ask if you could pass on our very grateful thanks to all those on Twitter who responded to your tweet and especially to those who turned detective and dug up vital clues.” https://t.co/kVxZRcJ1LG
— Martha Kearney (@Marthakearney) August 4, 2020
Morag said she had “cried and cried” when she learned the ring had been found.
Her mother said the discovery had brought memories “flooding back”.
Mrs Thompson said: “I never dreamt that after all those years somebody would recover it.
“I am so grateful that so many people have taken such a lot of trouble to trace me. It’s quite incredible.
“It brings back so many memories, doesn’t it? My husband died at the end of 2013 – just to have it back, well, as I say, memories (come) flooding back.”
She continued: “It is just unbelievable that something like this could happen.
“We had a lot of laughs together. We just had the kind of easy relationship that a lot of people would like to have in a marriage.”