These real-life golden girls are an inspiring example of what it means to be B.F.F.L.
Inseparable since the age of 11, Olive Woodward and Kathleen Saville, both 89, have gone through everything together.
The pals from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in the UK went to the same school, lived on the same street, and married coal miners. When their husbands died, they moved in together.
Now, the besties spend their time making “mischief” at the Berry Hill Park senior living home.
“We don’t cause any trouble in the home, but we sometimes have to knock the staff into shape,” Saville tells SWNS. “I just raced one of the managers down the hallway for a laugh.”
It’s all part of not letting time get the best — or worst — of you, according to the outgoing octogenarian duo.
“We are 89 but we look 63. We have been good friends and never fallen out,” Saville says. “We are still good looking. We have never argued over anything. She’s a good friend.”
She and Woodward met as desk neighbors at Ravenshead School in Nottingham in 1941, and grew up a few houses apart. Saville, who later worked at a telephone company, married Leonard in 1954. Two years later, Woodward, a former typist, wedded Roy, and went on to have two daughters and a bevy of grand and great-grandchildren.
“I just knew we would always be friends when I met Olive,” says Saville. “She means a lot to me. We’ve stayed friends by telling each other what we think and never arguing.”
Saville, who never had children, lost her husband in 1989 and lived alone until she moved into Berry Hill Park last year.
“When Kathleen moved into the home I missed her and I used to go and see her every Saturday for lunch,” says Woodward, whose partner passed away in 2004. “Then I thought, why don’t I move in, too?”
“We lived around the corner from each other all our lives so living down the hall seemed an obvious thing to do,” says Woodward. “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.”
Says Saville, “I’m so glad Olive is here now, we’re like giggling schoolgirls and we still put on our lippy and get dressed up. We always say to each other ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it.’ ”
Staff at the care facility say they’re inspired by the longtime gal pals.
“The sparkle is still there. They are full of mischief,” says manager Sally Tebbett. “Kathleen is a proper flirt … Olive is a bit more reserved — but they egg each other on.”
Tebbett says seeing the pair reunite was a “special” moment.
“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,” she says.
Woodward says it’s a comfort being so close to her girlfriend: “If I’m unhappy or in trouble, I only have to go to Kathleen and we’ll always end up laughing.”
In the end, Saville jokes, “If Olive goes first she’ll come back to fetch me. We’re going to be friends in heaven.”
athleen married Leonard in 1954, and Olive got married to Roy two years later.
Care home manager Sally Tebbett said of the women: “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.”
Wecan only hope to have a friendship as solid as Olive and Kathleen’s when we’re 89.