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Trip down memory lane leads to friends reuniting after 60 years

Bob and Graham

The Kidsgrove Friendship Club in North Staffordshire offers older people the opportunity to get out of the house, meet people and make new friends.

But for two local gentlemen, it brought about the reunion of a friendship over 60 years old.

Bob and Graham became friends as young men, when they worked together in the same factory. But when Graham was called up for National Service, the pair lost touch with each other and each got on with his life.

A few months ago, Graham saw an advert for a reminiscing session at the Kidsgrove Friendship Club, part of Father Hudson’s Young at Heart project. The session offered attendees the chance to take a trip down memory lane, sharing cherished memories of their earlier lives. Graham read the article with interest, made some enquiries about the group and decided to go along.

What Graham didn’t know at that time was that his old friend Bob had been going to the group for a while. Through a third party, Bob heard that someone from his past would be coming. He told Matt Ford, Development Officer at Young at Heart, about the impending reunion and his excitement over who it could be.

On the day of the reminiscing session Graham and Bob were delighted to see each other again, and were soon happily chatting and revelling in their memories.

Matt got them to join him on stage, where he interviewed them about their friendship and their lives since then. They shared photos of their younger days and swapped stories of their lives since they lost touch.

Graham said that after his service ended he had spent time travelling and living elsewhere before returning to Kidsgrove.

Remarkably, the pair had lived in the same area but hadn’t bumped into each other over the years. If it weren’t for the group, they may never have.

Matt said, “This was one of the best sessions we’ve had. When they were telling their stories there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”

And it didn’t end there – Graham is looking forward to coming back to the group to see Bob and the others again and to talk about his travels.

Young at Heart runs groups in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, offering older people the chance to socialise, meet new people and enjoy activities from games, to singers, to day trips and much more. To find out more about them, call Matt Ford on 07587 034299, email or visit the Young at Heart page on our website.

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