Sheffield playground pals celebrate 76 years of friendship

Margaret Walsh and Mary Scriven visit Wybourn Community Primary School, where they met when they were four years old.
Margaret Walsh and Mary Scriven visit Wybourn Community Primary School, where they met when they were four years old.
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With a bond spanning more than seven decades, a pair of Sheffield ladies are living proof old friends really are the best.

Mary Wild, aged 80 and 79-year-old Margaret Sedgwick were just four years old when they met in the classroom of Wybourn Primary School – and 76 years later they are still close.

The pair have witnessed one another’s loves and losses – Mary married Douglas Scriven and Margaret became a Walsh when she wed Ted – and still love nothing more than a good, old giggle together.

And to mark Margaret’s 80th birthday they took a trip down memory lane to the beginning of their beautiful friendship.

Staff at Wybourn treated them to a tour of the school, which brought memories of Sheffield in 1937 flooding back.

Margaret, of Hackenthorpe, said: “It was wonderful. A lot had changed, but the structure outside was exactly as it was. We enjoyed school. There wasn’t a lot of money around, but we had a happy childhood.

“We were always together. I was the tall one and she was the small one. I got married first and she used to come out with me and Ted.”

Distance failed to separate them when Margaret moved to Ecclesfield at the age of 14, and they stayed in touch as they went on to work and have families of their own. Both women have lost their husbands and helped each other through the grief.

Great-grandmother Margaret said: “I can’t believe that after 76 years we’re both still alive and both have someone to laugh and reminisce with.

“Some friendships dwindle out, but ours never did and it never will.”

Margaret and Mary’s parents both moved into new flats in Wybourn in the 1930s.

They were aged just seven when Sheffield was devastated by World War Two air raids. Margaret worked in a cutlery firm after leaving school.

These days, they meet at Crystal Peaks for a coffee and a catch-up.