It has been 60 years ... but for two sisters from Lynn it was like they had never been away as they were given the VIP treatment on their return .
Lorraine Burton, 67, and Janice McMillan, 70, who lived in Vancouver Avenue until their mum married an American soldier in the mid-1950s, returned to their roots during a trip away from their homes in Texas this week.
The pair, who were students at St James’ School – now as Eastgate Academy – were eight and 10 respectively when they were whisked off to the USA in 1955.
But when they decided to organise a visit back to the town, they asked West Norfolk Council if they could see Red Mount Chapel in the Walks, which had been a regular feature in their daily walk to school in the 50s.
The duo had not visited their former home since they left all those years ago, and said their trip back to the UK had been “wonderful” so far.
After the tour on Wednesday, Lorraine said: “I have always wanted to come back, but I never had a whole lot of money when I was younger.
“But now being back here is bringing back a lot of memories and there’s a feeling of contentment.”
Since returning to the UK, the pair have also been to London, Sandringham and Hunstanton – and Gorleston was next on their list during their 21-day trip.
Lorraine, who now has three children and three grandchildren, said: “When we moved to America, we left behind all of our relatives. But we found our cousins through Facebook and we will be staying with them for a few days in Gorleston.”
During their four-day break in Lynn, the sisters hoped to visit the Majestic Cinema, which Janice remembered from her childhood, and retrace their footsteps from six decades ago by walking from Vancouver Avenue to Eastgate Academy, past Red Mount Chapel.
Elizabeth Nockold welcomed the pair at the Red Mount. West Norfolk Council deputy leader and portfolio holder for culture, heritage and health, she said: “We love the building ourselves so it’s great that others do to and that it brings back so many happy memories.”
Mrs Nockolds said that the chapel will not open to the public until tomorrow. “We couldn’t let them travel all this way and then miss it by just a couple of days,” she said.