Sisters reunited after 26 years

Sisters Parveen Bashir (left) and Mary Potts
Sisters Parveen Bashir (left) and Mary Potts

TWO sisters have been reunited after 26 years apart – thanks to the Hartlepool Mail.

Parveen Bashir and her sister Mary Potts had an emotional reunion following an appeal from Parveen in Together Again last month.

Two days after Parveen’s plea, she rang the Mail to say Mary had got in touch.

Parveen, who was previously known as Kathleen Greig before marrying the late Mohammed, was in town last week.

She said: “I’m very grateful. “I’m so glad I contacted the Mail.”

Mary said: “It’s been just wonderful to see her after all this time.”

Parveen, 64, whose maiden name was Flounders, last saw her sister in 1986 before she left town to set up home with her family in Newcastle.

The family had lived in Carter Drive, in the West View area of town, before uprooting to the city, where they were to spend 15 years.

The family then moved to Birmingham and Parveen, who sadly lost her husband on September 30, 2007, now lives in the Handsworth area of the city.

Describing the moment she and her sister, now 73 and living off Hart Lane, met, she said: “We were both crying and saying it’s been too long.”

Mary found out Parveen was looking for her after a friend saw the article and she rang Parveen straight away.

“We were both crying on the phone,” said Parveen, who has three sons.

Parveen arranged to come up to Hartlepool and she made the four-and-a-half hour journey by train to the town.

She was in Hartlepool from Tuesday, February 21, to Sunday, February 26, for a poignant reunion with Mary and her family.

Parveen was also reunited with her brother Sid, 70, who lives in the West View area of town. She was met off the train by Mary’s daughter Lynn and Lynn’s daughter Amy, who pointed out straight away that Parveen looked like her great grandmother, also called Mary.

Parveen asked if the group could walk to Mary’s house, rather than get a taxi, so she could see how Hartlepool had changed.

She admitted the final steps to her sister’s door were daunting.

“I was nervous,” she said, “though I tried not to show it.”

She said upon entering Mary’s bungalow, Mary jumped up and the sisters enjoyed an emotional cuddle.

During her stay in town, Lynn took Parveen to various old haunts, including West View.

Grandmother-of-eight Parveen said she was disappointed that the tenements were no longer in Burbank Street and she was sad to see that Lynn Street had declined as a shopping centre.

She also visited the marina and Stranton Cemetery, to see her mother’s grave

Parveen, who has four great-grandchildren, had been in Pakistan when her mum died in 1980.

She said it was another emotional time when it was time to go but she and Mary have agreed to keep in touch.

l In a strange twist, it emerged that Together Again’s Tracy Walker had known Parveen when she was four, as her mum Val and Parveen had been friends.

A young Tracy can be seen in a picture with Val, Parveen and Parveen’s children and niece.