Best friends reunited after decades through article in the Evening News

WHEN 72-year-old Rae Pearson read about Teddy Boys in the Kirkgate in last Wednesday’s Evening News, she couldn’t believe her eyes.  Recalling those halcyon days was her long-lost best pal, Maureen Sweeney.
Maureen and Rae, here at the dancing in the 60s, have been reunited after nearly three decades after Rae read a feature in the Evening NewsMaureen and Rae, here at the dancing in the 60s, have been reunited after nearly three decades after Rae read a feature in the Evening News
Maureen and Rae, here at the dancing in the 60s, have been reunited after nearly three decades after Rae read a feature in the Evening News

The pair, who had grown up together, lost touch nearly three decades ago.

Rae, who had spent years trying to track Maureen down, immediately contacted the Evening News, telling us, “I enjoyed the article about Leith in today’s News, even more so as my best friend when we were young was Maureen Sweeney. She was my best maid at my wedding and is my daughter’s god mother. Over the years we lost touch, is there any way you could pass on a message to her that I would love to catch up.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The article was part of series about the Living Memory Association’s Real Life podcast, and with their help, the friends were reunited at the weekend.

Rae PearsonRae Pearson
Rae Pearson

Rae beams, “I was delighted to read the article and soon realised it was Maureen telling the story. So many memories came flooding back and I knew this was my best chance for us to get back it touch. Loosing contact crept up on us, in those days we didn’t have mobile phones and then we both moved house... the years just went by.”

Maureen admits that when the Living Memory Association got in touch to say that Rae had been in touch through the Evening News, she was confused.

“I did not believe it and then the emotions set in; thoughts racing as to how long it had been, how our lives panned out."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 71-year-old continues, “We lost touch like most people as life got in the way - our children are about the same age, we both worked and both had ailing parents. It was difficult making time for us.”

Maureen SweeneyMaureen Sweeney
Maureen Sweeney

With lockdown still in place, the pals made contact through e-mail, then telephone and are now texting each other regularly.

Maureen says, “As excited as I was, I was also apprehensive, nervous even. You don’t know how people’s lives or circumstances might have changed.

“By Saturday morning I e-mailed her and within minutes she phoned.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rae takes up the story, “It was very emotional when Maureen and I spoke for the first time in more than 20 years. We chatted about our families, how they all were getting, and reminisced a bit about the good old days. We spoke for ages but I think we only touched the tip of the iceberg in our catching up. It was just so nice to hear her voice.”

Maureen adds, “It could have been a marathon question and answer session but we tried hard not to do that. What we really want to do, and can’t just now, is meet up for coffee, but we will take our time.”

Rae agrees, “After lockdown, we can catch up properly. Being able to meet in the flesh will be emotional and exciting, but in the meantime we’ll text and chat on the phone. Thanks Evening News.”

Miles Tubb of the Living Memory Association, adds, “The Living Memory Association is all about bringing people together through memory. The fact that we can continue to do this through lockdown has been brilliant. Our podcast and the Evening News article have brought these two long lost friends together. Memories keep us connected.”

A message from the Editor

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Joy Yates

Editorial Director

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.