Friends are reunited after 52 years

Kathleen Thompson, left, and Jennifer O'Neill reunited after more than 50 years, with a picture of them together as teenagers
Kathleen Thompson, left, and Jennifer O'Neill reunited after more than 50 years, with a picture of them together as teenagers

A Binbrook woman has discovered a good friendship lasts, even after more than five decades spent apart from each other.

Kathleen Thompson, of Southfields, has been reunited with her friend Jennifer O’Neill, who she hasn’t seen for 52 years.

And there was a good reason to get together at this particular time, as they share a ‘significant’ birthday.

“I think that was why we had such a strong bond, as we have the same birthday,” said Kathleen.

“We never fell out and we were always together.”

Jennifer travelled from her home in Australia for the reunion on the pairs 70th birthday.

The pair worked together in their teenage years at the NHS Pricing Bureau in Newcastle; they sat next to each other and were inseparable.

But after two and a half years, Jennifer’s family decided to move to Australia, becoming some of the many ‘£10 Poms’.

The girls kept in touch for about three years, but then lost touch.

Jennifer made a return visit to England for the first time 19 years ago and wanted to catch up with her friend, but had no way of finding out where she was.

Then, with the dawning of a certain internet reunion site, Jennifer decided to set about locating Kathleen.

“My daughter Laura told me about the site and encouraged me to register and I was amazed when I found out Jennifer was looking for me,” said Kathleen.

That was 10 years ago and since then the pair have been in regular contact, but it is only now they have been able to reunite in person.

“I was concerned whether we would still like each other,” admitted Kathleen.

“But as soon as I met her at Newark train station, we were both crying our eyes out and haven’t stopped talking since, catching up on all those years.”

Now firm friends again, Kathleen is planning her trip to visit Jennifer.