Gleed Girls School friends from 1950s united thanks to Spalding Guardian readers

The old Gleed Girls School ANL-170501-174737001
The old Gleed Girls School ANL-170501-174737001
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Two old school friends have been reunited thanks to a story in the Spalding Guardian today (Thursday).

We ran a story on page 2 about June Johnson (formerly Drawwater) who had not seen former best friend Shirley North since the 1990s and was eager to make contact before the two turn 80 this year. They were inseperable friends at Gleed Girls School in the 1950s.

Within hours of the Guardian hitting the news stands today, editor Jeremy Ransome received a call from Shirley’s sister-in-law Margaret North, who still lives in Spalding.

When he called June, who lives in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with the good news, she had already received a call from her former best friend, who is now Shirley Oakes and lives in Bournemout.

“Her daughter had read the Guardian and phoned her,” June said. “Shirley then phoned me and I’ve since had a couple of other people phone, offering her details.

“I didn’t recognise her voice to start with, but we were soon chatting away and we stayed on the phone for an hour,” she added.

“We hope to meet up when the weather gets better but it will be difficult as we are both disabled now and our husbands are unable to drive. But we will keep in touch over the phone at the very least.”

June said she was delighted to know her old friend was still alive and, through another call, had also been able to put Shirley in touch with a cousin from Spalding who had lost contact with her.

“I’m so grateful to the Spalding Guardian for running the story and to everyone who made phone calls,” she added.

Shirley grew up in Winsover Road and the two were inseparable during their school days and kept in touch afterwards, at one stage sharing a house.

June said in today’s Guardian: “We lost touch after I moved and, when I came back to Spalding for the first time in 20 years recently for a funeral, I went to the last address I had for her but a foreign family now live there and they had not heard of her.

“We both celebrate our 80th birthdays this year and I would dearly love to meet up. We were such good friends at school and we were always getting in trouble together!”

• Do you need some help in finding a long lost friend? Email jeremy.ransome@jpress.co.uk or call 01775 765403 and we’ll do our best to help.