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Darlington friends reunited after half a century apart
OLD schoolfriends who had not seen each other for 50 years have been reunited thanks to The Northern Echo’s Tracer service.
Maureen Thomas, 65, contacted the newspaper in the summer in the hope of finding sisters Doreen and Pauline Raper whom she went to St John’s primary school and Eastbourne secondary school with in the 1960s.
To her delight, Doreen, now l’Anson, 64, of Willow Road, saw the Tracer article and contacted Mrs Thomas who had lost touch with the sisters after joining the Army at 17 and leaving Darlington.
The friends met at the King’s Head in Priestgate today (October 18) and Mrs Thomas, who now lives in Thatcham, Berkshire, said the half-century apart hadn’t stopped them from instantly reconnecting.
“When Doreen first rang on the phone, I was jumping up and down I was so delighted,” said Mrs Thomas.
“I had thought about them over the years and had asked around when I visited family in Darlington; it was my husband who pulled me into the Echo office and said to give it a go, and I’m so glad I did.”
They celebrated their reunion with champagne, and Pauline Pederson, 65, who now lives in Newport, Middlesbrough, said they enjoyed their trip down memory lane.
Mrs l’Anson added: “It’s so nice learning about each other’s families and what we’ve been up to.
“We are definitely going to stay in touch, and me and Pauline might even go down there and stay in a hotel so that we can all see each other again and meet each other's families.”
The Tracer service is free. Write to The Northern Echo, Priestgate, Darlington, DN1 1NF, call 01325-505069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org