A pair of twins who thought they would never see their sister again enjoyed a tearful reunion with their long lost sibling – after almost 60 years.
Diane Somers, 69, and her twin brother Lloyd Martin last saw their half sister Doris Knowles, 76, on her wedding day in 1958.
The siblings, who shared the same father, saw each other regularly at their childhood home on Nelson Road in Preston, but when Diane and Lloyd moved to Ribbleton in 1957 with their parents, Doris slowly drifted out of their lives following her wedding a year later.
Now, 58 years later, the three met at Diane’s Denville Avenue home in Cleveleys after reconnecting with the help of social media.
Former Royal Preston Hospital cleaner Diane said: “Doris got in touch with me on Facebook and said ‘I think you’re my sister’. I messaged her back asking her what our grandmother’s name was. She said ‘Gladys’, and that’s when I knew it was really her.
“When I opened the front door to her I thought, ‘oh God, I’m going to start bawling my eyes out’! But we got on like I had just seen her yesterday.
“It was very emotional. As soon as I saw her I filled up with tears.
“I have always said I wanted a sister - but I got stuck with Lloyd instead!
“As soon as I saw her I knew there was something there. She felt like she was somebody I had seen somewhere before.
“If somebody had asked who she was I would have said ‘I don’t know, but I know her from somewhere’.
“We talked about everything in the world. We talked about my dad and how he split with her mum and what happened after that, and reminisced about all the places we used to go.
“I kept saying to my husband ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it’!”
The mum-of-three was shocked to learn that Doris had moved to Lea just two miles away from Lloyd’s Ashton home, and had stayed in the area her whole life.
Thriller novellist Lloyd said: “I didn’t realise how much my sister Diane is like my sister Doris. From the pictures, it’s uncanny. If you asked anyone who the twins were out of the three of us, they would say ‘the two women’!
“We were all fascinated to learn more about what we hade made and what we had lost. The four hours passed like an instant.”
Mum-of-two Doris, who used to work at a dairy in Longridge, said: “It was wonderful seeing Diane and Lloyd again after all this time. I had often thought of them over the years but I had no idea how to find them.
“It was my daughter who said we should try to find them on Facebook, and when we saw Diane we saw we had the same eyes. Then we found Lloyd and realised he did too!
“We clicked right from the beginning and there was no difficulty at all. It was like we had known each other for years.”
The newly-reunited sisters and brother are now looking forward to introducing each other to their long-lost grandchildren.
Diane added: “We’re going to meet again with her children and my children - and probably their children as well - so it’s like a big family get-together, and introduce them to their new cousins.”
Lloyd said: “We are definitely looking forward to seeing each other again. She’s only two miles from me so it will be very easy to keep in touch.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about her family and meeting them all - it’s marvellous. This is only the start of a long journey.”