The day of the accident the police came to our house – goodness only knows how they knew that mum was your dad’s older sister – to give us the awful news. They told us that only your mum had survived. Mum rang Gladys as far as I know, and it was decided that she (Gladys) and Reg would travel out. As my father’s health was pretty poor then (he had suffered a stroke a few weeks previously) mum agreed to stay at home and handle things at that end.
After three or four days the police came back and wanted to know if you had any identifying marks like appendix scars as there was an unidentified young man in the hospital and there was Mrs Gatford insisting that she had pulled her son from the plane and that he was alive. Mum said that she didn’t think you had an appendix scar, as she believed, of the four of us, I was the one without an appendix. Eventually they came back and told us that you were alive.
The Daily Mirror were particularly persistent as I remember and used to sit in a car parked in our close and question us every time we left the house. We swore we’d never buy a copy of the Mirror again – and I have found that a very easy promise to keep!
Mum, Gladys and I were tasked with going to Wellcroft Road and removing clothes etc. belonging to the girls and your Dad before you and your mum came home. This she’d asked us to do. I found this particularly difficult and even now it is very upsetting to remember and write about. I have a letter Janette wrote to me from the Mother and Baby home, my one treasured thing that is still part of her. You are welcome to read it when you’re here some time.
Wellcroft Road was where we lived before the accident. My mother and I only ever went back there once, with Uncle Reg, Aunty Gladys, Aunty Doris, Cousin Teri and some of my father’s work colleagues, to move our furniture and belongings to another council house in Welwyn Garden City. I sat with our next door neighbour, Mrs Roots, while they did this.