FOUR old school friends have been able to meet up again in Devizes following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

I was invited to spend some time on Saturday with Ronald 'Sid' Tanner and his three schoolmates, Michael 'Rocky' Sanders, Alan 'Weasel' Jones and Michael 'Fluff' Golding, in the town's Silk Mercer Wetherspoon's pub.

The four meet there regularly to while away the afternoon and reminisce about old times over several pints of beer.

And they've been telling me some very tall stories - which they insist, no word of a lie, are all true.

Like the one about Roman soldiers washing the wheels of their chariots in The Crammer on their way back from Bath.

"It's absolutely true," says Alan, who tells the story. "But the others don't believe me."

At 79, Mr Sanders is the oldest, followed by Ronald, who will be 79 on August 27. Alan will be 79 on November 2, and Mr Golding 79 on November 26.

They have all known each other since they were five years old and pupils at Southbroom Junior School in Devizes.

Aged eight, they all moved up to the Southbroom Senior School, which they left aged 15 to begin their working careers.

Mr Sanders and Mr Jones were in the Territorial Army, while Mr Tanner was a Lance Corporal with the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh Regiment.

They all got married, and two got divorced, while Ronald is the only one in a wheelchair.

As the alcohol takes effect, the stories get taller and Mr Tanner is soon crying with laughter. They tell me they've never had a cross word between them.

Three meet up every Saturday because they all live in Devizes, while Ronald joins them once a month because he lives in Trowbridge.

He says: "We just sit and chat about school days and generally put the world to rights."

"It's going to hit the rest of us hard when one of us goes."