Long lost cousins from Leeds reunited after 35 years

Reunion of Cousins. From the left are Diane Cristy-Lewis, Gloria Lazarus and June Manning.
Reunion of Cousins. From the left are Diane Cristy-Lewis, Gloria Lazarus and June Manning.
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IT was a chance meeting of eyes across a busy supermarket cafe, which gave long lost cousins the chance to be reunited.

Former ladies barber Diane Cristy-Lewis, 63, from Roundhay was shopping in Waitrose in Meanwood and called for a cuppa in the cafe when she spotted a familiar face from the past at another table. She said: “I went over and said ‘Might you be Gloria?’ She said yes. We knew each other instantly. It must be more than 35 years since we last were in touch. It was so good to see her again.”

Gloria Lazarus, 77, from Moortown, was delighted to see her younger cousin once again.

The pair’s parents were siblings and now they meet up regularly for lunch or coffee and another re-union has taken place with their older cousin June Manning, 82.

The trio are delighted to be in touch.

“I really don’t think we would have been able to find each other, if we had not bumped into each other in Waitrose. Times passes by and I moved from Leeds to York, then back to Leeds again three years ago. With moving house and change of numbers, it can be difficult to track relatives down,” said Diane.

The grandmother said that they had simply lost touch, like many people do: “Family and work life gets in the way and we were busy running a post office. My father and their mothers were siblings.

“I was a ladies barber in the 60’s and worked with my Dad Morry Christy at Roundhay Road, near where Jackie Charlton used to have his menswear shop and all the Leeds United players used to come in for their hair cuts.

“It really was a dramatic re-union, like something from a television drama. They look so well and we are all pleased to be back in touch.”

She said her older cousin June was very spritely for her 82 years, and still performed in a band called Evergreen. June was formerly in The Honeycombs with her husband.

A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: “We are delighted they have been re-united and to celebrate gave them a bottle of champagne in store.”

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