I am 47 years old, married with children and grandchildren, but there is one person missing in my life who holds the key to many of my questions - my natural father, Alec Leggett.
When I was a small child, maybe up until about 4 or 5 years old, my mother would point out a photograph in an album, and tell me that this face belonged to my "father", as by then she was married to my "dad", William Bland.
The photo was taken at the Bank of England Printing Works, and was of the cast of a drama production. He was standing near the back, with hair flicked back I the style of the late 50's/early 60's and I thought he looked a bit weird as he had this smirky smile. Sadly, it is a smile I see in photos of me and my granddaughter, Angelica. A family trait - a geeky grin.
A few years back, my first attempt to locate him resulted in the Bank of England at least confirming that yes, he had worked there, and I believe they said up until 1959.
Unfortunately, in beginning the search again, a few months ago, they could find no trace of him - but the lady there explained that they destroy personnel records on the employees 70th birthday. This leads me to think that he must have reached 70 years of age sometime in the last 5 years.
I was born, Rosemary Jeannette Irene Lewis, in Highgate Hospital on May 24th 1955. My mother was Sylvia Lewis. I know my natural father was married and was ordered to pay maintenance for me.
My nan, now deceased, told me when I was about 15, that I had a sister about 6 months older than me. That when they had gone to collect the maintenance one day, his wife and the baby were there, and that she and I looked like two peas in a pod, except that I had ginger hair and she was blonde.
My mother does not speak of any of this and refuses to discuss anything with me, stating it is her life and does not need my meddling into it. We have a strained relationship at best, and even the Atlantic Ocean between us does not make it any easier. I love my mother dearly,but I think we both find it easier to have very little to do with each other.
In finding my cousin,Wendy, I gained access to someone else who had been around at the time, my Aunt Irene. However, she confounded the issue somewhat as she says she thought the baby was a little boy, but that she remembers going to the police station with my nan to collect the maintenance for me. So, I am now unsure as to the sex of the half-sibling a few months older than me, but know that my existence was known of by my father's wife at the time.
This is important, as it means that if I find him, it will not be a deep dark surprize to her, she is already aware of my existence.
Thus far, I "know" that:
His name was Alec Leggett, and I believe his middle name was George.
That he worked at the Bank of England Printing Works in Debden between 1954 and 1959, possibly longer.
That he was married and had a child born in the latter part of 1954.
That he was a member of the cast of one of the drama club productions.