Friends reunited for first time in more than 60 years

Pictured from left to right: Trudi Innes, Audrey Hunt, Valerie Young, Daryl Young. Picture: Kingsley

Pictured from left to right: Trudi Innes, Audrey Hunt, Valerie Young, Daryl Young. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare - Credit: Archant

They were devoted to each other right through childhood, sharing all the landmarks and achievements of their schooldays.

But Audrey Hunt had to say goodbye to her best friend Valerie Young when her husband Mick's job in a high street bank took them to live in Stoke Newington, in London.

Mrs Young also left their childhood home of Bishop's Stortford, in Hertfordshire, when her husband David's job as an engineer took them to Edinburgh.

Despite this, the pair always kept in touch through Christmas cards.

And now, after being apart for more than 60 years, they have been reunited – at Kirkley Manor nursing home in Lowestoft.

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Mrs Young's son Daryl tracked down Mrs Hunt to her present day home in East Harling, Norfolk, and arranged the reunion with her niece Trudi Innes.

Mrs Innes, who brought her aunt to Lowestoft in her car, said they were both emotional when they first caught sight of each other – having not seen one another in 62 years – at the Kingsley Healthcare-run home, where Mrs Young has been living since January.

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'They simply took each other's hands and said hello. They seemed overwhelmed to begin with,' she said.

The pair, both now widowed and 86-years-old, had a lot to catch up on.

Mrs Young, who has three children and four grandchildren, had moved to Suffolk later in her life and lived with her family on a boat at Woodbridge for a time; she had lived with her son Daryl in Bungay after her husband's death in 2004.

Mrs Hunt, who never had children, had moved from London back to Hertfordshire before retiring to Norfolk with her husband to be close to her niece.

Mrs Innes, of Rockland All Saints, near Attleborough, said: 'Six weeks ago, Daryl contacted Audrey to tell her Valerie was in Kirkley Manor and say, 'why don't you go and see her'.

'I thought let's organise it straightaway because life is too short. Audrey had missed Valerie's Christmas card this year because she was ill at that time.'

She has promised Audrey that after waiting 62 years she will bring her back to Kirkley Manor for another visit very soon.

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