Friends again after all these years

TWO Ipswich school friends who were reunited on a Felixstowe beach after 22 years apart have set up an art studio together.Thirty-seven years after leaving school Verena Daniels, 53, and Pat Todd, 52, have set up an art studio and gallery.

TWO Ipswich school friends who were reunited on a Felixstowe beach after 22 years apart have set up an art studio together.

Thirty-seven years after leaving school Verena Daniels, 53, and Pat Todd, 52, have set up an art studio and gallery.

And to reflect the artists' chance meeting they have called their Felixstowe business Reunion Galleries and Studios.

"I always imagined that I would have my own workshop and to have somewhere to have art and to work, but I never imagined I would have my own gallery," said Mrs Daniels, of Western Avenue, Felixstowe.

"We thought what can we call it, then I thought why don't we call it reunion.

"Sometimes it takes two people to make things happen, we were catalysts for each other."

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Mrs Todd, of Burnt House Lane, Kirton, said: "We work together practically everyday. We have become an extra limb – but if we don't like something - we say."

After being artistic rivals and friends at Westbourne School for Girls, Ipswich, Mrs Daniels (nee Harris) and Mrs Todd (nee Moye) started their adult lives studying art in separate colleges.

But in 1987 the two met again unexpectedly on a Felixstowe beach. They instantly recognised each other despite being apart for 22 years and slowly became friends again.

They joined an art course together and later enrolled on a degree course in art and as soon as they finished they opened their own studios where they now create their glass and pottery artwork. Then later in April they opened the gallery next-door in Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe.