Teddy boys of ‘62 are reunited after more than 50 years

Old pals Dougie Waudby and Norman Ransom reunited after 50 years.
Old pals Dougie Waudby and Norman Ransom reunited after 50 years.
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THE last time they saw each other they were dressed as teddy boys, in early 1960s Leeds.

Now after more than 50 years, best pals Norman Ransom and Doug Waudby, have been reunited, thanks to the power of the internet.

The pair first met as teenagers in their first jobs as apprentice engineers, from around 1957 when they worked at WH Baxters, at Gelderd Road.

Doug was also best man at Norman’s wedding in 1961. They were firm friends even when they both went on to work elsewhere - and they lost touch after 1962.

But it took Norman’s daughter Maria Ransom just 40 minutes to track down Doug, after she placed an appeal to find her dad’s long lost friend on Leedsface, a Facebook site, which has more than 13,000 members.

Norman, 73, who is married to Sandra, and has five children and 13 grandchildren, said: “I remember we enjoyed many nights out in rock ‘n roll Leeds as teddy boys.

“Over the years I’ve always thought of Doug and felt we should meet up again as we were firm friends, but life and family gets in the way and we just lost touch.”

Eight years ago Norman retired to Cyprus with Sandra, but they still return to Leeds twice a year to see family.

Retired engineer Norman, who worked at Barnbow in Crossgates for 25 years,said: “I said something to my daughter Maria about trying to find him and before I knew it, Doug had been found.”

Great grandfather Doug 72, of Armley, Leeds, whose wife Kathleen died in 2010, said: “I could not believe it when I heard Norman was trying to get in touch. I had tried myself to find him on the internet but had no luck.

“We met up again in the World’s End pub in Pudsey and talked for hours, we could not stop talking. It was brilliant looking back on our memories and old times of 1960’s Leeds. We all used to have Tony Curtis haircuts.

Doug went on to work at Hayes Engineers in Seacroft.

Maria, 52, of Swarcliffe, said: “I’m delighted as dad has often mentioned Doug over the years. It was great for them to meet up again. I was overwhelmed at the response after I’d mentioned Doug’s name on Leedsface and said I was trying to find my dad’s best pal from years ago.

“It seemed lots of people knew him and after just 40 minutes, we had tracked him down after 52 years of being apart.”

The pair have pledged to keep in touch whenever Norman comes back to Leeds and Doug has been invited to visit Norman in Cyprus.

Glenn Simpson, who founded Leedsface, said: “Leedsface was created as a facebook group in 2012. I wanted a place on the net, that not only presented our city in a positive light but also gave a forum for Loiners everywhere to exchange views, news and memories. The group quickly became a hit, not only here but around the World, We have 13,000 members and an extensive library of 10,000 photos and film clips of Leeds.

More details at www.leedsface.com or see the Leedsface Facebook page.

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