The Telegraph Article

Barnardo’s boys reunited at Buckingham Palace

BY Adrian Monti 20 JUNE 2016 • 12:00AM

Re-united: Jimmy Kennedy and Colin Bishop in the gardens of Buckingham Palace

We never forget our childhood friends, although we do often lose touch as the years slip by. Here two long-lost mates tell how
they found each other again in the Queen’s own back garden
When Jimmy Kennedy said goodbye to his boyhood pal Colin Bishop more than half a century ago, they vowed to meet up
again soon.
But slowly the weeks, months, years and even decades passed. It seemed that the last time they saw each other back in 1962
would actually be their final ever meeting.
The pair had become firm friends after arriving at Goldings, a boarding school run by the charity Barnardo’s. Teenagers who
were already cared for by the charity could apply to go to the former country estate in Hertfordshire to complete their schooling
and learn a trade.
Jimmy arrived there after being cared for since he was aged six at a Barnardo’s home in his native Belfast. After his mother
died, his dad struggled to look after him and his young siblings. He went to Goldings when he was 13.
Colin was cared for by the charity from when he was eight after his single mum was unable to cope with bringing up him and his
brother. He had just become a teenager when he arrived there from Manchester and, like Jimmy, left after turning 16.
“The first time I met Colin was when he was sitting in the school reading a newspaper,” recalls Jimmy. “I supported Burnley
and asked if there was any news on them in the sports pages. He was a Manchester United supporter and that’s how we got talking.”
Sport, and particularly football, bound them together. The pair were even chosen as ball boys at Wimbledon because back then
it was the tradition for the tennis tournament to pick Barnardo’s children.

On the ball: Barnardo's football team 1959-60, Jimmy centre back, Colin front right

“Football was always the thing that we both loved,” says Jimmy. “We played for the same team while there and I was the goalkeeper.”
Jimmy learnt to be a cobbler in the school’s workshop while Colin trained as a carpenter in its joinery room.
“I’ve met lots of people during my life, but Colin really was the best friend I ever had. I even named my second son Colin after him,”
says Jimmy.
In 1962, the pair left Goldings within months of each other, and went their separate ways. After returning to their home cities,
they got jobs, married, had children and grandchildren, too.
But they never forgot each other.
“We’d made a vow to meet up after we left Goldings, but for some reason it never happened,” says Jimmy.
“It wasn’t so easy back then before the internet and mobile phones. My wife Eileen tried to find him online, but never succeeded.
I asked Barnardo’s, but they had no recent records about where Colin was.”
“I’d been searching for him for years too,” says Colin, who is now registered blind. “I never even knew if he was still alive or dead.
I just wanted him to have made a success of his life.”

A friendly face:
Colin Bishop, aged about 14

But in May this year, their quest to find each other again ended.
Among the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Barnardo’s, which helps children and
vulnerable young people, being founded by philanthropist Thomas Barnardo, was a garden party
at Buckingham Palace. Various guests associated with the charity over the years were invited to
the special occasion, hosted by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Jimmy and Colin, both now 70, were included on the guest list, along with their wives. But neither
of them knew the other old friend would be there.
“I was chatting away on the lawns with another guest when he said there was a chap sitting over
there that went to Goldings,” says Jimmy. “I went over and told him when I was there and my name.
He said, ‘Not Jimmy Kennedy the goalkeeper?’
“I said ‘yes’ and asked him his name. I couldn’t believe it when he said he was Colin Bishop.
It was incredible that out of 6,000 people there I’d bumped into my old best friend by chance.”
Colin was amazed too.
“I was totally gobsmacked when I met Jimmy again,” he says. “It brought tears to my eyes to
have found him at last. It was like finding a needle in a haystack.”
In the Queen’s garden the pair spent time reminiscing and filling in the many gaps after 54
years apart.
“I suppose I never thought we would see each other again after so long,” says Colin. “I felt it
was such a pity as we were such great mates.
“It was lovely to meet up and hear that he has enjoyed a good life. We now have plans to
meet up - maybe go and watch Burnley play Manchester United next season if we can.
“Now we’ve found each other again, we certainly won’t lose touch this time.”

Page Compiled Sept 2016

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys Reunion Members

Finaghy man's joy after shock care home reunion with best friend 54 years on

Jimmy Kennedy, 70, had the surprise of his life when he met his former boyhood friend

6 JUL 2016 By Sheena McStravick

Jimmy and Colin then and now

A Finaghy man has spoken of his shock and delight at a chance reunion with his best friend, 54 years on. Jimmy Kennedy, 70, had the
surprise of his life when he met his former boyhood friend Colin Bishop at a Garden Party in Buckingham Palace, while marking
Barnardo's 150th anniversary. Both Jimmy and Colin had grown up in Barnardo's children's homes. Jimmy at a home in Whiteabbey
from the age of six after his mother died, and Colin in Manchester from the age of eight. Jimmy said: "1 was the eldest of five when
my mum died and our Dad couldn't cope. Going to Barnardo's it felt like we had been lifted out of Belfast to somewhere that felt like
heaven.
"We had three meals a day, clean clothes and baths five days a week. We went to the local school and the staff at the home were
excellent. We felt cared for. If I hadn't gone into Barnardo's I don't know where my life would have gone, but it worked for me."
In 1957, aged 13, both Jimmy and Colin moved to Barnardo's training school in Hertfordshire.
Jimmy was training in shoe and boot repairs and Colin in carpentry. Their friendship was forged by a mutual love of sport-football,
cricket, crass country you name it, they were playing it.
"The first time I met Colin was when he was sitting in the school reading a newspaper," recalls Jimmy. I supported Burnley and asked
if there was any news on them in the sports pages. He was a Manchester United supporter and that's how we got talking."
The pair were even chosen as ball boys at Wimbledon because back then it was the tradition for the tennis tournament to pick
Barnardo's children.
"I've met lots of people during; my life, but Colin really was the best friend I ever had. I even named my second son Colin after him,"
Says Jimmy.
In 1962 the pair left Barnardo's Willian Baker Technical Scholl and went their separate ways. Jimmy moved back to Belfast and
Colin went to his home city of Manchester.
They both moved on with their lives getting jobs, married, having children and then grandchildren too.
Jimmy added: "We'd made a vow to meet up after we left Goldings but for some reason it never happened.
"It wasn't so easy back then before the internet and mobile phones to keep in touch. "My wife Eileen tried to find him online but never
succeeded. I asked Barnardo's but they had no recent records about where Colin was either."
"I'd been searching for him for years too," says Colin, who is now registered blind. "I never even knew if he was still alive or dead. I just
wanted him to have made a success of his life."
Jimmy and Colin were included on the guest list along with their wives but neither of them thought the other old friend would be there.
They happened to be sitting in adjoining groups on the lawn when Jimmy overheard someone mention Goldings so he went over and
said he had been there.
He explained: "The person said, 'Not Jimmy Kennedy the goalkeeper?'. I said, 'yes' and asked him his name. I couldn't believe it when
he said he was Colin Bishop. It was incredible that out of 6,000 people there I'd bumped into my old best friend by chance."
Colin said he was equally amazed: "I was totally gobsmacked when I met Jimmy again. It brought tears to my eyes to
have found him at last." In the Queen's garden the pair spent time reminiscing and filling in the many gaps after 54 years apart and Jimmy
was able to tell Colin he'd named his second son after him. Jimmy said: "I suppose I never thought we would see each other again after so
long. I felt it was such a pity as we
were such great mates. "It was lovely to meet up and hear that he had enjoyed a good life. We now have plans to meet up - maybe go and
watch Burnley play Manchester United next season if we can." "Now we've found each other again we certainly won't lose touch this time,"
added Colin.


Jimmy and Colin back 1961 age 15

Jimmy and Colin at Buckingham Palace 2016