School pals welcome to Oz couple’s big day

A WOMAN who rekindled a relationship after 42 years would love the schoolfriends she has not seen since emigrating to Australia to watch her reaffirm her vows tomorrow night.

Gill Sweeting (nee Bainbridge) would like to see her classmates from Jesmond Road Infant School, Oxford Road Junior School and Elwick Road Modern Secondary School at The Blacksmiths Arms, in Stockton Street, Hartlepool, where she will reaffirm her wedding vows with husband Cliff Sweeting.

She would also like anyone who remembers her to go along, including Ian and Ann Landreth, who the couple last saw at a wedding three years ago.

Gill, 60, remembers Valerie Broom, Irene Dunning, Maureen Gallon, Kath Lowther, Malc Webster, Margaret McInnes and Eddie Gavillet from her school days.

Gill, who is mum to Paul Zuker, 25, said: “I know Margaret Webster, Kath Lowther, Eddie Gavillet and Ian and Ann Landreth are still in Hartlepool, but the rest are friends from 40 years ago. They could be anywhere in the world.”

The couple are inviting any old friends along to the pub tomorrow, on Cliff’s 64th birthday, from 7.30pm, ready for the reaffirming of their vows at 8.30pm.

The Mail has regularly featured the couple over the past year, with Gill and Cliff having told how the pair were parted after Cliff was forced to say goodbye at Hartlepool railway station 42 years ago when Cliff left town for a 10,000-mile trip to Australia.

Cliff had to leave Hartlepool all those years ago for Australia to help his dad cope with bringing up the rest of his siblings after the death of his mum.

That parting eventually led to an amazing reunion with Cliff more than 40 years later when they made contact on the internet and love blossomed again when they discovered they were both living in Australia.

They wed in January, on Gill’s 60th birthday, and now she and Cliff, a former law enforcement officer and security guard, are in town for three months on a trip down memory lane.

Anyone wanting to find out more can call Gill on 07790 042986.