TWO childhood friends were surprised to be reunited in their living room after more than 70 years.

Henry Haines and Ron Redman, both 90, made the discovery in the communal area of Sanders House in Ingram Crescent, Hove.

Despite having lived in the same assisted facility for six years, the pair had never realised they were old friends.

Ron said: “I moved in six years ago but didn’t ever come down to the living room. I used to have agoraphobia. But one day I thought, I can’t go on like this. I started coming downstairs and the other day we got chatting.”

Ron said he started to wonder about Henry, who is known as Harry, when it became clear they had a lot of friends in common.

He said: “He had mentioned his brothers’ names and his family name, which I recognised and so I asked about Harry – and he said: ‘that’s me’.”

Harry said: “I couldn’t believe it. We just realised we knew all the same people.

“We both remembered a boy at school who had a wooden leg, you wouldn’t forget him. He could really run well though.”

Harry and Ron both attended Whitehawk Primary school in the 1930s and were also fellow pupils at Whitehawk Secondary School.

They were both posted to Chichester barracks for national service training in 1947, but did not see each other while they were there.

Since being reunited however, they have discovered they had more in common than they realised.

Harry’s daughter Christine, 65, said: “They just kept crossing paths all the time.

“The most ironic thing is that at one point they lived on the same floor of this building and didn’t realise.”

Although Harry joined the Royal East Kent Regiment and was drafted to Hong Kong, and Ron spent eight months in Palestine, both returned to Brighton and worked for the same company in the 1950s.

"We’ve discovered we both worked for Tamplins brewery, though we’re not sure if there was an overlap,” Ron said.

There are yet more parallels, as both men went on to work in the building trade.

Asked how it feels to be reunited, Harry said: “It’s made a talking point, and we like a good rabbit. My family just can’t believe it.”

Christine said: “I just think it’s wonderful. Ron by his own admission stayed up in his flat a lot of the time, and Dad has not been too social since my mum died.

“I hope they will come down and have coffees together now.”

Ron said: “It’s great to have him back. You can’t keep us apart now.”