TWO childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in 60 years finally met again last week, after exchanging letters for the past few decades.

Cathy Sims and Monica Deeks attended the same primary school in Esher, Surrey, but went their separate ways when they were 11 years old when their parents sent them to different secondary schools. The good friends, who had lived about 200 yards away from each other, described themselves as ‘tomboys’ who would climb trees and jump across streams.

After losing contact, both women moved away from the town where they had grown up together – Cathy married and left for Brecon where she had family ties and had been on visits from an earlyage, and Monica moved to New York in 1966.

A chance meeting between Monica and a woman from Brecon in 1972 led to the discovery that they both knew Cathy, coincidentally allowing them to get back in touch when Monica sent a letter. Since then the pair have exchanged Christmas cards every year and now, both aged 71, they have been reunited.

When Monica recently had to change her holiday plans for health reasons, she decided to come to Wales instead, asking if she could visit Cathy in Brecon as part of her trip.

Cathy said: “We went our different ways and led completely different lives, but she hasn’t changed and she said neither have I! Our sense of humour is still the same.”

Monica has invited Cathy to stay with her in Florida where she now lives, and has plans to return to Brecon in the future.