Sheffield woman's note to two 'lovely' strangers enjoying each other's company on train journey goes viral

This is the note Hannah gave to Bill and Morris as she got off the train
This is the note Hannah gave to Bill and Morris as she got off the train
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A Sheffield woman's note to two 'lovely' strangers who hit it off on a train journey has gone viral, after one of them replied and told her how her communication made 'two old men very happy'.

Hannah Thornton, a marketing and communications co-ordinator for the South Yorkshire Housing Association and Age Better in Sheffield, had the pleasure of hearing two older men called Bill and Morris meet each other and chat away happily during a train journey last week.

She explained on Twitter: "This time last week I got the train to my Grandma's and shared part of my journey with 2 lovely men.

"They'd never met before but instantly hit it off and laughed like they'd been best friends for years. I scribbled a note to them as I got off the train."

Hannah shared a picture of her note, which said: "I didn't want to interrupt your conversation but I wanted to let you know how heartening it's been listening to you both chatting on the train this morning.

"I spend some of my job working for an organisation called Age Better in Sheffield so I spend lots of time working around loneliness and social isolation - the aim of the organisation is to reduce loneliness and help make Sheffield a city we can all be proud to grow older in.

Bill replied to Hannah the following day, and told her she had made 'two old men very happy'

Bill replied to Hannah the following day, and told her she had made 'two old men very happy'

"We encourage people all the time to be neighbourly and to share a smile or a nice word with another person, so it's been lovely to hear you both doing an abundance of that! And great to hear how you adapt your passions to suit your life as you grow older. You both seem very young at heart!

"I hope you enjoy your trips to Liverpool and thank you for so effortlessly engaging in the activities we try really hard to encourage people to do at Age Better in Sheffield.

"Hannah :)

"P.S We love volunteers if you ever fancy it!"

Hannah passed her note, which included her contact details, to the two men as she got off the train.

And the following day, Hannah was overjoyed to receive a reply from Bill, the younger of the two men, who said her note had 'made two old men very happy'.

Bill's reply read: "Hello Hannah,

"Thank you for the note you gave me as you left the train yesterday. You made two old men very happy - although I don't consider myself very old.

"63 is the new 40! My name is Bill, the junior of the two men.

"The other man, whose name I prised from, is Morris. He was 80, hope I am like that when I am his age.

"He was a lovely and really engaging person to talk to.

"He was going to an army reunion - a career of nearly 60 years that he was so proud of.

"He had been married 55 years.

"I didn't manage to open my paper or look at my iPad once. I wish every day was like that.

"Yesterday was a very bizarre day for me. On my way to the train station I gave a homeless lady some money. A few yards further I was stopped by a reporter from BBC Radio Sheffield who stopped me and asked why I gave the money.

"He then went on to interview me and the homeless person on air. He then asked me do I volunteer?

"I told him I do volunteer at an educational charity called Grimm&Co and also told him it was a chance to give something back - as with the donation to the lady.

"Then I get your note and your 'invitation' to volunteer. Bizarre the two incidents coming together. I would like to know more about what your volunteering is about and can probably offer a day a week, Although now retired, I lead a busy life during the day time but can offer some evening time.

"I am secretary of Grenoside Bowling Club. I have 95 members and the average age is probably 70 or higher, so I have an empathy and understanding of the challenges facing older people. I unfortunately was recently widowed so have an experience of being lonely.. although not alone as I have two children living with me.

"I have every admiration for the job you are doing with Age Better, and the objectives you set out to achieve. Good luck for the future.

"To answer your other question: I had a great day in Liverpool, meeting up with my two oldest friends who I met on the first day of secondary school 52 years ago.

"We drifted apart, as you do when you have busy lives and migrate to other parts of the country.

"It was 30-years-ago that we were last together, but you wouldn't have thought from our conversations and laughs yesterday.

"I am sure Morris is also going to have a great time.

"Best wishes,


Hannah Tweeted about the heartwarming interaction between the three strangers yesterday, and since then her post has been retweeted over 3,800 times and has been liked by more than 19,000 people.