French connection for more than 60 years

LETTERS have been exchanged between two penpals for more than 60 years.

Sheila Thomas, of Crossgates, and Gisele Puchot, of Paris, have been friends since they were both at school.

Mrs Thomas was a pupil at the Scarborough Girls High School when she and her classmates were given the names and addresses of students in Paris.

Mrs Thomas, 78, said: "We wrote partly in French and partly in English because neither of us were very good at that point.

"It all had to stop when Paris became occupied by the Germans during the war and I thought that was that."

But as soon as Paris was freed Sheila received a letter from Gisele through the Red Cross and they have stayed in touch ever since.

The two women finally met in Paris in 1980.

"It was just like meeting someone I had always known because we had exchanged everything in our lives for so long," said Mrs Thomas.