The News, Portsmouth: By Michael Powell 15 January 2009
A CLASS of shipwrights thought they would never see each other
again when they parted more than 50 years ago. But thanks to The News the old
friends tracked each other down and met this week for a memory-filled reunion.
The Portsmouth Royal Dockyard School entry class of January 1951 found each
other through The News Where are they now? section.
On Tuesday they met
for a reunion dinner at the Ward Room of HMS Nelson - almost 58 years to the
day they first met.
Keith Hart, 75, who lives in Plymouth, said: 'We
only started three months ago but managed to contact 18 of us and hold a
reunion. There was only one person we couldn't find. 'Some of them are living
abroad so couldn't come today, but it has been great - some of us have not seen
each other for 51 years.'
Mr Hart organised the reunion along with Bob
Dowdell, 75, of Court Mead, Drayton; Peter Ellerton, 73, of Burridge, near
Swanwick; and Harry 'Dusty' Miller, 74, of Suffolk. He said: 'It all started
with me and Dusty being on the website Friends Reunited. 'He got in touch and
asked if I was the same Keith Hart he knew from the dockyard. I said yes, then
it grew from there. 'We found more of us on the internet but there were some
names we could not find, so Bob got in touch with The News and found some
The group spent the dinner sharing memories.
said: 'One thing I remember is all the bicycles along Unicorn Road. The road
used to be full of cyclists heading to the dockyard. 'Also, I remember these
lads from Bermuda who came and joined us when the Bermudan dockyard closed.'
Mr Dowdell added: 'It has been great for us to get back together and
talk about those days.'
The group plans to stay in touch and meet up
again in the future.