A TEACHER travelled more than 2,000 miles to meet up with his old college friends.
David Young, 66, has lived in Israel for more than 40 years, but travelled back to Sunderland this week to be reunited with his pals from his teacher training days.
The dad-of-three, who was born and raised in Wiltshire, came to Sunderland in 1964 to train as a teacher and struck up a close friendship with a group of fellow trainees, including Mick Roberts.
The pair were reunited for the first time in almost 45 years when David made one of his regular trips back to the UK and came to revisit Wearside.
And, during his week-long stay he is hoping to meet up with some of the other members of their motorbike-loving group.
Mick, 67, who hails from London, remained in Sunderland and taught at South Hylton Primary School until his retirement a few years ago, and was put back in touch with David after being contacted by a mutual friend.
David said: “I was a bit worried meeting up again after so long, because our paths have been very different. I didn’t know how it would be, but, we got on so well.”
Mick said: “It was like he had never been away. We were such a close group of friends and we went straight back into the way we were – talking and drinking and catching up.”
After finishing teacher training, David spent a year at Thorney Close Juniors before deciding to go out to Israel.
He said: “I am Jewish and my sister had gone out there in 1962 and an aunt had also gone, so I wanted to go.
“I’ve been there ever since. I absolutely love it.
“I’ve had a blast.
“Being Jewish, I learned Hebrew for religious purposes when I was a kid, so although I could write and read a bit, I spoke it in a Biblical way, so my major problem was learning modern Hebrew.”
During his time there David, who has written several historical novels, has taught in a number of different schools and now works at a sixth form college in Jerusalem.