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Best friends for nearly 80 years 'causing more mischief than ever' as they move into same care home

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Kathleen Saville and Olive Woodward, both 89, became friends as 11-year-old schoolgirls in 1941. [Photo: SWNS]

A pair of best friends have marked almost eight decades of friendship in the best way – by moving into the same care home.

Olive Woodward and Kathleen Saville, both 89, first met when they sat next to each other at Ravenshead School Nottingham, in 1941 at the age of 11.

The pair lived down the road from one another in Mansfield, a market town in Nottinghamshire, where they continued to live all their lives.

When they married, their respective husbands worked together at the Coal Board.

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The friends remained close through bereavement. Kathleen, who does not have children, lost her husband Leonard in 1989, after 35 years of marriage, while Olive, who has two grown-up daughters, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, lost her husband Roy in 2004.

And now they have followed one another into the same care home. Kathleen moved in Berry Hill Park care home in their local town on Mansfield last year, and Olive has now joined her, moving into the room opposite hers.

Olive Woodward, left, and Kathleen Saville met in 1941 and have been friends ever since. [Photo: SWNS]

They are some of the oldest residents in the home, but feel like “giggling school girls” because they have one another.

“I’m so glad Olive is here now, we’re like giggling school girls,” said Kathleen.

Throughout all this time, the friends have “never fallen out”, she added.

“We have never argued over anything. [Olive’s] a good friend. If I needed her she would always be there. If Olive goes first she'll come back to fetch me. We're going to be friends in heaven."

Their love of “mischief” has continued into seniority, said Kathleen.

“We used to get dates and not turn up. I also used to give them the wrong address, just in case I didn't like them or want them anymore.

“We don’t cause any trouble in the home, but we sometimes have to knock the staff into shape. I just raced one of the managers down the hallway for a laugh.”

Olive Woodward, left, and Kathleen Saville met in 1941 and have been friends ever since. [Photo: SWNS]

Olive said: “We lived around the corner from each other all our lives so living down the hall seemed an obvious thing to do.

“I feel very lucky to have my best friend down the hall. We’ve built many memories together and we’re making more every day.

“When Kathleen moved into the home I missed her and I used to go and see her every Saturday for lunch. Then I thought, why don’t I move in too?”

Care home manager Sally Tebbett said: "The sparkle is still there. They are full of mischief.

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"Kathleen is a proper flirt and has her lippy on every day. Olive is a bit more reserved but they egg each other on.

She adds: “They never stop chatting and giggling. It's so endearing, they genuinely love each other and you can see that. Since they have been reunited, Kathleen and Olive have been inseparable, causing just as much mischief in the home as they used to when they became friends 78 years ago.”

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