A brother and sister who were separated 60 years ago have been reunited – and discovered they were living just four miles apart in Birmingham for decades.
George Culwick, aged 87, and Lucy Heenan, 88, grew up as children together in Birmingham but lost touch in the 1940s.
The elderly couple have now enjoyed an emotional reunion after a chance encounter brought them back together.
Speaking of his joy at meeting Lucy again, George said: ‘‘I thought she was dead because I hadn’t seen her for so long. We have lots of catching up to do.
“It’s been very emotional.”
Three months ago the great-grandfather attended a family ancestry meeting and bumped into his sister’s daughter-in-law - and they soon realised the amazing link.
And after they were reunited they discovered they had been living just four miles apart for decades – George in Quinton, Birmingham, and Lucy in neighbouring Langley, Sandwell.
George had attended the family ancestry meeting with his son and recalled: “He is well into tracing the family tree and asked me to go to a meeting with him.
“Someone at the meeting mentioned that a Barbara Heenan would be coming that night and I thought the name rang a bell. Then I remembered that Lucy had married a Reg Heenan.
“Me and Barbara got talking later, which is when I discovered she was the wife of Lucy’s son and she later arranged for me and my sister to get together.”
Meeting after 60 years apart was understandably emotional for George and Lucy, who both grew up in Birmingham with their late parents and sister Lily.
George said: “Since we were reunited, we have met each other’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“My family like having a new auntie, especially as she makes such a fuss of them.”
The great-grandfather now lives at McCarthy & Webb Court care home in Stourbridge, where he moved two years ago after wife Sally passed away.
The siblings meet up as often as they can and also talk regularly on the telephone.
“We’ve had lots of catching up to do,” said George. “I’d had no way of getting in touch with Lucy before this because I didn’t know where she was.
“It’s strange that we were living so close to each other and yet we had no idea.
“It would have been funny if we’d just bumped into each other in the street.”