We had never met – yet we looked almost identical and had similar life stories. Now we do poetry readings together in matching jumpers

My wife, Marion, and I moved to Braintree in 2013 to be near our daughter and grandchildren, and I was struck by how friendly some of the locals were. Strangers would often wave as I passed them in the street. Some of them would also say, “Hello, John!” My name’s Neil, but I let it pass.

On one occasion we were in a cafe when a man came over and said, “You’re John Jemison, aren’t you?”

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