The GuardianThe Guardian

‘It feels unconditional’: The secrets of lifelong friendships - according to lifelong friends

By Emma Beddington

08 Mar 2023 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

Emma Beddington explores the latest research on the benefits of socializing and speaks to lifelong friends who have experienced the positive effects of strong relationships first-hand.

Trish and Mick started chatting about music on a staircase in 1970, when Trish and her flatmates (“strange, slightly hippy people,” Mick laughs) were trying to stop a neighbour’s party guests, including Mick, from getting into their flat. Julia and Susan found friendship when they became neighbours at the age of seven. Susan’s parents disapproved of Julia’s single mother’s lifestyle and forbade them to meet: “We developed a system of sound signals, found a place to hide notes to each other and met secretly in the local park,” Susan says. Ian and Roger bicker gently over which was the first Nottingham gig where they shared a bill in 1965, but say that Roger persuaded their bands (Tony D and the Shakeouts for Ian; The Sons of Adam for Roger) to jam together on stage.

Mick and Trish at Trish’s flat in north London in 1971.

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