Brother and sister re-united after 36 years...on a blind date in East Ham

A woman who signed up to a website ended up on a blind date - with her long-lost brother in East Ham!

Sarah Kemp, 42, swapped emails and photos with 47-year-old George Bentley.

But it was only when they met in the White Horse pub in East Ham and talked about their childhood that they realised they were brother and sister.

George said: “This was the meeting of a lifetime and we are now planning to see each other as often as possible to catch up on the time spent apart.”

Sarah said: “Can you imagine the surprise, joy and embarrassment we both felt? It was such a crazy thing.”

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Sarah, from Edinburgh, added: “To meet your long-lost brother, in a bar, after over 30 years would be something by itself. But to meet him in those circumstances - on a date, for crying out loud - really is something else. We obviously had far more in common than first thought.”

Sarah and George were born in Kent, where they spent an “idyllic childhood” with parents Felicity and David Bentley. But they lost touch in 1975, when the couple divorced.

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Sarah, who was six, joined her mother in Edinburgh, while David, nine, went with his father to East London.

As adults, Sarah and George tried to make contact, but had so little information that they were unable to trace each other’s whereabouts.

The search was made more difficult when Sarah married in 1989. She divorced a decade later, but kept her husband’s surname of Kemp.

George, 47, a builder, said: “I had no idea where she was. I was searching for Sarah Bentleys, rather than Sarah Kemps, as I obviously didn’t know she married. After a while, I think both Sarah and I gave up looking.”

But against the odds, the siblings were reunited after joining casual dating site last November.

They began chatting online and frequently exchanged e-mails and even photographs.

After three months, they decided to meet for lunch at The White Horse - George’s local pub in High Street South, East Ham.

Sarah said: “I love London anyway, so when he suggested we meet up I thought it would be a good opportunity to explore and have a mini-break in the city - as well as meeting George.”

She added: “We had so much in common and we really enjoyed each other’s company. It was as if we’d known each other all our lives.”

After talking about their childhoods for more than an hour, the pair finally realised they were related.

They have met twice more in Edinburgh.

George said: “This was the meeting of a lifetime and we are now planning to see each other as often as possible to catch up on the time spent apart.”

A spokesman for bookies William Hill said the chances of the pair meeting in such a way were 500 million-to-one.

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