A CHANCE meeting in a car garage was the last place two schoolfriends thought they would meet each other after 53 years.

For Phil Wildig and Bruce Darby this happened recently while they were both paying a visit to Hereford Auto Services.

The men were pupils of the then named Bromyard Secondary Modern School before going their separate ways.

Bruce moved into Hereford with his family before going on to work at Bulmers for 35 years while Phil stayed in the area working just outside Bromyard as a farmer.

The pair hadn't noticed each other in the garage and it was only when the cashier asked for Phil's surname that the pair noticed that their former schoolfriend was also in the shop.

"I wouldn't have noticed him if he walked past me in the street as I was 15 when we last saw each other and you change a bit over the years for the good or bad," said Bruce

"It was just a sheer coincidence that I had work done on my car. I wouldn't have recognised him as it was years ago when we last met. "

Phil who still lives near Bromyard was equally as shocked to see Phil after 53 years.

He added: "It's quite unusual as we hadn't seen each other since the day we left school.

"I wouldn't say we were close friends but we were the same age and could remember each other's names. I was surprised to see him as I was just in the garage settling my bill when my name was mentioned and Bruce asked if I was anything to do with Bromyard.

"It was just a chance meeting and the garage owner Will Ferriday was quite surprised that we met in his office and could remember each other from school."