AN 80 YEAR friendship was rekindled when a Bolton care home resident was reunited with her long-lost friend – following more than 14 years apart.
Margaret Goulden, 90, and Francis Masters, 88, were brought back together again after a photo of Margaret appeared in The Bolton News.
The pair enjoyed a socially distanced reunion at Lever Edge Care Home, in Great Lever, where Margaret lives, when the pair caught up on their lost years.
Staff had been trying to track down Frank since Margaret moved into the care home in November last year, as she mentioned she had lost touch with her old friend after first moving into a different care home in 2006.
Despite their best efforts, it was Frank who found Margaret, when he called the care home after spotting her when catching up on his local news.
Alongside fellow residents, Margaret had taken part in The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge and a photo had been published in the newspaper.
The pair first met when they both worked at a factory in Moses Gate, Farnworth. Margaret was 21 and Frank was 18 and they have been friends ever since.
They spent holidays together, travelling to Blackpool throughout the years, staying in a hotel on South Shore, where they made friends with the owner. They also used to enjoy going to bingo together and regularly visited each other’s houses.
Margaret said: “I would go to Frank’s house or he would come to mine regularly and we’d have a chat.” She joked: “I would keep Frank in line.
“I was overjoyed to see Frank again. I honestly thought I wouldn’t see him again. He doesn’t look any different to how I remember him.
“When he visited we talked about our adventures in Blackpool. We both love it there.”
Frank, who is planning to visit Margaret regularly now he knows where she lives, said: “I felt relieved to have seen her. My family and I had been looking for her for three-and-a-half years and when I saw her in the paper I was so happy.”
Alix Isherwood, activities coordinator at Lever Edge Care Home, said: “Ever since Margaret moved into Lever Edge, she told us all about her friend Frank. We tried to track him down but couldn’t.
“After her debut in The Bolton News, she had a phone call from a familiar voice. Our thanks go to the newspaper for reuniting the long lost friends.
“Frank had been trying to track her down for a long time but having both lost contact details they were unable to find each other.
“Frank couldn’t believe it when he saw Margaret in the newspaper. They were reunited, under social distancing rules, and are both thrilled to have found each other again.”