Sheffield colleagues reunited after 60 years

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A pair of workmates have been brought together for the first time in sixty years - thanks to The Star.

Former office workers Eileen Delaney and Margaret McDonagh, who were both employed at Aizlewoods Mill in Sheffield city centre during the 1950s, were reunited after we ran a story asking for former employees to get in touch.

Two photographs of the pair taken in the corn mill’s heyday proved the key to unlocking a decades old separation and bringing the duo back together once more.

Margaret, aged 78, of Swallownest took a picture of her and Eileen, 80, standing next to a truck at the mill in Nursery Street into the building after reading a piece in the Star about it being 25 years since its transformation into a business centre.

The story also appealed for former Aizlewoods workers to get in touch.

Margaret was unable to attend the open day held to mark the milestone at the mill a few days later but Eileen did attend - and took in an almost identical picture.

Luckily business centre manager Catherine Beatty realised the photographs featured the same women as Margaret’s snap and offered to put the ladies back in touch - after sixty years.

Margaret said: “It was lovely to see Eileen again and we have kept in touch since Catherine took us both for lunch. 
“We had plenty to catch up on and chat about.”

The women were both employed in the offices at the mill, Margaret starting when she was 16, straight from school while Eileen, who lives at Stannington, was 15 when she started, her job at Aizlewoods also her first from school.

Said Eileen: “We remember the mill being full of bran, grist and flour. We had turbans to keep our hair out of our faces, there were no masks then. It was very dirty and dusty,

She added: “I had driven past many times and looked at the landmark chimney, thinking ‘I’d love to go round nowadays.’ Now thanks to Cath I have.

“I enjoyed it and meeting Margaret again. She hasn’t changed very much at all and we plan to keep in touch.”

Catherine said: “After meeting Margaret, I never thought in my wildest dreams I would meet the other person in the photo on the open day.

“Once I did, I just knew I needed to act and we are thrilled to have played a part in reuniting these old friends once more.”