People in Northampton who have joined a Facebook group which shares history of the town, have said it has “changed their life”.
A year after Northampton Old Faces and associated groups were set up by John Atkinson, thousands have joined to share and learn stories from the town and even rekindle old friendships.
Lesley Brett, who lives in Melbourne Road, in St James, said: “It has changed my life. It’s absolutely fantastic.
“I hadn’t been getting out much but it gave me a social life again. I’ve made good friends with people from times gone by and I’ve even found an old flame.”
The 56-year-old grandmother joined the group when it was launched in March 2014 and regularly attends disco nights organised with group members.
She added: “I’ve met some amazing people and I’m looking forward to taking part in more get-togethers this year.
“It has also been great for my husband, who doesn’t get involved in the social side, but is really interested in the history and the updates that John puts up about the town.”
Another group member who joined last year, Irene Jackson, said: “It makes you feel like you are part of what’s going on, even after you’ve become busy with other things and lost touch.
“Seeing what’s happening and who is getting involved is encouraging me to come back into the town and do the things I did with my children when they were little.”
Mrs Jackson, who now lives in Compton Way, in Earls Barton, was born and raised in Northampton and now has three daughters and nine grandchildren.
The 57-year-old said: “It’s created a whole new social circle for me and I’ve made friends that I talk to every day.
“We go to coffee mornings and Motown nights. I probably go out even more than my daughters now.
“It has also been very interesting to see pictures of all the old shops and things from the town I remember from my childhood.”
Barbsie Stewart, an events promoter from Abington, said that the group had even helped her develop her business.
The 53-year-oldsaid: “The power of social networking is huge and getting to know so many local people with similar interests has given me a new circle to involve.
“But it has also helped me expand my own horizons, finding out about what else is going on.
“I even got back together with one of my old best friends from school and we’ve been to events together.”
Her parents used to own the former Victoria Tavern, in Kingsthorpe Road, and Mr Atkinson managed to track down photos of the pub in its heyday.
She said: “John found photos that I hadn’t seen in years and it was great to be able to show my parents all these years later.
“It’s just such a really good site with fantastic pictures.”