Story reunites friends after 40 years

OWZAT for a twist of fate?!Destiny came in the shape of a wayward cricket ball for old friends Brian Pryke and Frank Nightingale.Mr Pryke featured in paper after being floored during a bowls match in Mistley by a firmly struck six from a neighbouring cricket ground.

Tom Potter

OWZAT for a twist of fate?!

Destiny came in the shape of a wayward cricket ball for old friends Brian Pryke and Frank Nightingale.

Mr Pryke featured in paper after being floored during a bowls match in Mistley by a firmly struck six from a neighbouring cricket ground.

By chance, long-lost friend Mr Nightingale was visiting his old home town of Ipswich when he saw a familiar face in the news.

The old pals hadn't seen each other for more than 40 years since Mr Nightingale moved with his family to Australia.

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But they've promised never to lose contact after Mr Pryke's freak accident led to their chance reunion.

Mr Pryke, 68, of New Road, Trimley St Mary, said: “Frank had been over from Australia for around a month and in that time had attended a get-together of old friends and family who had been trying to get in touch with me for years.

“I used to work on the oil rigs as a crane driver and had lost contact with them. They must have thought I had died or vanished!”

“It was through The Evening Star that Frank recognised me. He saw where I lived and was able to track me down.”

Mr Nightingale had got wind of his old neighbour and friend's unfortunate accident and managed to trace him.

The 65-year-old said: “I was trying to track Brian down for the reunion but I couldn't find him.

“Then I saw the paper and thought jeez what a coincidence!

“He used to live four or five doors away from me and we were friends from about the age of 14.

“If it wasn't for Brian I'd have never met my wife. He came by my house one evening and asked if I wanted to go to a dance in Chelmondiston and that's where I met her.”

Mr Pryke and Mr Nightingale were so pleased to hear from each other they immediately arranged another bash with friends at the Shipwreck Inn, Shotley, to celebrate.

“We exchanged long conversations about the good old days,” said Mr Pryke.

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