Browse content similar to Page/Ardley. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
'Today, heir hunters are searching for a family who have no idea they're entitled to £100,000.
'Could they be knocking at your door?'
'On today's programme,
'the team face opposition from rival companies in the race to sign up heirs.'
He's been spoken to already.
'And how a farming community used a digger
'to ensure their friend made it through to his own funeral.'
George would have thought that was the funniest thing. He'd be telling everybody!
'And how you could be entitled to thousands of pounds held by the Treasury.
'Could a windfall be heading your way?
'Each year, the government receives around £12 million of bonus revenue.
'This comes from unclaimed estates left by members of the public who died without making a will.
'But it doesn't have to be this way.
'There are over 30 companies competing to return this money to the families it belongs to.
'They are known as heir hunters.
'Another Thursday dawns crisp and bright.
'Heir hunting companies examine the list of unclaimed estates,
'which has just been published.
'It's only 7.30am at the offices of Fraser & Fraser in London,
'but the team has already identified a case worth working.
'Company partner Neil Fraser is leading the team this morning.'
We've got this case of Page. We were just looking at the addresses.
'Cases that have the most value
'usually contain property as an asset.
'Neil and his team are always on the lookout for estates that are made up of bricks and mortar.'
She bought the property in 1970, just under her name. A property in Ilford.
Ilford in Essex, obviously in the southeast.
So it's got to be a kind of pricey sort of property.
'Considering the location and the value of neighbouring houses,
'the team's working on the assumption that Barbara's estate is worth a very healthy £100,000.
'This is worth working for the team,
'who take a commission based on the estate's final value.
'Barbara Ethel Page died in January 2010, aged 80, in Ilford.
'The love of Barbara's life was George Page, known as Bill,
'who she married in 1951.
'Good friends of Bill and Barbara's were Ron and Elsie Goldspink.
'When their son Phil Goldspink was growing up, Barbara was close by.'
She was very outgoing. She wasn't afraid to have a gin and tonic.
Wouldn't go out of the house without make-up. Always smartly dressed.
My father and Bill were taxi drivers in the East End.
Barbara worked in the radio dispatch office.
So she was a very confident person,
very happy to talk to people, and she liked a laugh.
'Heir hunters need to build a family tree to establish next of kin.
'They do this by using databases and public records,
'including birth, death and marriage certificates and census results.
'Available in register offices,
'this helps heir hunters build a family tree for the deceased.
'Debbie is already making good progress.
'She's traced Barbara Page's mum and dad.'
I identified the parents' marriage.
She doesn't seem to have any siblings.
I'm trying to identify the deaths of the parents.
'With Debbie making good progress on her own,
'and Neil's suspicion that there might be property, he gets more staff working on the case.
'The colleagues split into two teams.
'Gareth leading work on the maternal side,
'and Simon Grosvenor in charge of the paternal.
'Nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get the job done.
'Work begins in earnest.
'With Fran Brett as case manager, the search for heirs is under way.'
'Who will be first to get a phone number for a potential beneficiary?'
A-ah! There she is. No?
Where's St Olave? St Olave?
That's, like south London. Is it?
'In the lead are Debbie and Simon,
'who have both made good progress on their opposing sides of the tree.'
I've just identified the census for the father, deceased.
And he seems to have, um...a couple of brothers and sisters.
We found the birth of the mother, Sarah Burnett.
And she appears to have at least five siblings, all of whom are born in St Olave.
'Barbara's parents were James Westwood and Sarah Burnett.
'James had six brothers and sisters,
'and Sarah had five siblings.
'This is great news,
'as any children they had would be Barbara's cousins and heirs.
'The family tree is sprouting branches at an alarming rate.
'Simon Mills has found a marriage of one of Barbara's paternal aunts.'
I found what looks like a good marriage in 1930 in Deptford to a Mr Bright.
There might be a child from the marriage, so I'll see what I can do with her.
'Simon's not the only one with wedding bells in his ears.'
I found two marriages - Alfred's marriage and Ellen's marriage.
Ellen married a Davis, which is not the best of names.
Let's get it down on the sheet.
'These marriages are all well and good, but none of these couples will be alive.
'Any heirs will be the children of these marriages, or grandchildren.
'Getting this family up to date is the goal
'and it looks like we might have a winner.'
-This is the first phone number.
You're just too slack. Drat!
I've got an address. >
But I've been beaten to a phone number, which is annoying.
We're claiming one for the team.
'The team already have a phone number for a possible heir.
'You'd think this was good news, but Gareth is aware of the pitfalls of easy research.'
The trouble is that the competition are going to get it as well.
'With crossed fingers, Fran makes the call.'
Good morning. This is a message for Ian...
'But there's nobody at home.'
I've left a message.
'With the team fearful of the competition being hot on their heels, they can't waste any time.
'No sooner has Fran hung up, then Gareth has another possible heir.
'With a potential value of £100,000, they can't afford to get behind.'
Good morning. This is a message for...
'It's another answering machine.'
We have addresses and phone numbers on both sides of the family
but, unfortunately, there's nobody to speak to yet.
'When they eventually reach an heir on the phone,
'it should tell them if they're researching the right family.
'Then they might be able to send someone to pay the heir a visit.
'Bob Smith is on the road and standing by awaiting instructions.
'The company have at their disposal a team of travelling heir hunters,
'experienced researchers taking directions from the case managers in the office.'
Gareth says go to Weymouth.
'Their job is to track down certificates, check records
'and sign up heirs.
'Bob is an experienced case manager himself
'who's worked for Fraser's for 25 years.'
This is where the fun and games begin.
'Fran has had a frustrating morning, but all her hard work might be about to pay off.
'After leaving messages, calls from potential heirs begin flooding in.
'Fran is through to a possible cousin to Barbara.'
Now, I'm rather hoping that you would be a son of John Davis.
Fran's on the phone to, I think it's Paul Davis,
who's a cousin of the deceased.
I know he's mentioned the deceased so I know we're on the right family.
'Paul Davis is the son of Ellen Westwood and John Davis.
'He is a paternal cousin to Barbara.
'While Fran is on the phone, Tony is on a call to another potential heir.
'Suddenly, the team are doing brilliantly.'
..A couple of children, George being one, your father-in-law...
'Neil is pleased with the team's work this morning.'
On the mother's side, we have one stem to finish off.
..We know that Charles married and had three children...
Gareth and Frances, again, have got it pretty up-to-date.
Do you have a mobile for him?
'Crucially, it seems like all the team's efforts mean they've reached beneficiaries
'ahead of the competition.'
Now, it is possible that another company might contact you.
It sounds like we're first there.
'The next stage for Fran
'is to book an appointment for Bob to visit Paul Davis.'
Would it be possible to come and see you later on today?
Well, we can do it all in writing. That isn't a problem.
'Paul has no time to see Bob today and there's worse news to come.
'When Fran calls another potential heir,
'she's already been contacted by a rival firm
'and doesn't want to speak to any other companies.'
Beryl's been nobbled. She's been told not to speak to anyone.
I can't ring her STRAIGHT back. I'll leave it a while.
'This is terrible news.
'There's competition and, worse, they've been beaten to some heirs.
'The only thing for it is to throw all their efforts into regaining that vital lead.
'Coming up, the strain of today's case is felt in the office
'and out on the road.'
The pressure's still on.
The pressure is on.
'Unsolved cases can come from a variety of sources.
'Some are referred by solicitors.
'Many are advertised on the Treasury's unclaimed estates list.
'On occasion, a member of the public will call and ask for help.
'This is what happened in the case of George Ardley.'
We get a lot of e-mails and calls.
The majority of them are nothing to do with work for us.
They're people asking for help with family history.
Every now and then, it sounds like an estate.
'In 2009, the person on the end of the phone was Millicent Parker.
'Millicent had some concerns about the estate
'of her friend George Ardley, who she'd known for many years,
'until he passed away in Yorkshire.'
He was such a lively soul. I just never expected that.
It was a REAL shock that he'd gone.
He leaves a great gap in everybody's lives that knew him.
I knew he hadn't made a will, so I got on to Fraser & Fraser.
'George Ardley passed away, aged 79.
'He was born and spent his life
'in and around the Yorkshire village of Uppermill.
'George was a farmer
'and a well-known and much-loved character in village life.'
I met George when I was 17. I'd see him in Saddleworth,
where I'd pick him up in my car and drop him off.
On the journey, I used to learn about what his cows had been up to.
There was one born the day he died, I believe,
and one born the day of the funeral.
He would have loved that because they were off a really good bull.
'George's first love, pushing his cattle into second place,
'was his mother, Eileen,
'who he lived with all his life until she passed away in 2001.'
George absolutely adored his mother.
She was the same with George, and they were so happy.
As she got older, he really looked after her.
She'd looked after him and he looked after her. They were lovely people.
'When George died in the winter of 2009, Britain was experiencing
'the worst snow for decades.
'Much of the UK was covered.
'Few areas were affected as badly as Yorkshire.'
The funeral was cancelled twice and then on the third time,
we decided we'd take measures to make sure it went ahead for George.
'Julian and George's other friends called upon the help
'of local man Nick Harrington, who used his digger
'to clear a path so that mourners could get to the church.'
The snow was very bad.
It was four foot deep on the top road, six to nine inches down here.
'Although Mick had cleared a path to the church, Julian soon realised
'there was a final journey for George he might need a hand with.'
We realised, when everyone had gone into church,
that the undertaker couldn't get George's coffin to the graveyard.
So we put it in the bucket of the machine.
As I'd put him down in the digger, I said, "I didn't realise, George, I'd be giving you a lift like this,"
after all the lifts I'd given him in the past.
'George's friends felt sure
'that he wouldn't have minded being transported in such a fashion.'
I think he'd have been very amused that his last trip
was in a bucket of a digger.
George would have thought that was the funniest thing.
He'd be telling everybody. He would have really loved it.
'Following his conversations with Millicent,
'it soon dawned on Neil that George's £160,000 estate
'was not just made up of property.'
Mr Ardley was a farmer and in his estate was his herd of cows.
They're having calves, so it's an ever-increasing asset
which, from our point of view, is very interesting.
It's almost £20,000 added to the value of the estate.
'When case manager Dave Slee
'began looking into George's estate of £160,000,
'and his cows, he didn't have a lot to go on.
'He knew from Millicent that George had never married or had children.'
The only information I had
was a copy of the death certificate from the deceased,
which stated that he was born on 4th May 1930, in Oldham.
Armed with that,
I obtained a copy of the birth certificate which clearly stated
that his father was Douglas Charles Ardley
and his mother was Eileen Ardley, maiden name, Chaloner.
'It's thought that Douglas and Eileen met in the summer of 1929,
'in Oldham, when Douglas, a mill specialist,
'was transferred up from London.'
They needed a specialist for some work at one of the mills,
the mill she worked at.
It was towards the end of August.
In those days,
the mills used to shut down for the wakes holiday.
I think she knew him before they went
but I think they got together, you know, at Blackpool.
And that's when their affair began.
'In the early 1900s,
'the main employer in rural communities was the mills.
'During the summer, in an attempt to control work rate and keep up morale
'mill owners encouraged their staff to all holiday during the same week.
'The mill would close
'and often the entire village would make an exodus to the seaside.
'This was known as wakes week.'
Everybody from many northern towns would go on holiday.
Mostly to Blackpool. By the '30s it was really well established.
Blackpool was a town of places of entertainment,
with, of course, this very long
wide promenade where everybody would walk to see and be seen.
If you didn't have much money, you'd spend a lot of time on the promenade
and the beach because that was free.
Young women wouldn't go in the clogs and shawl they wore to the mill.
They'd be in the most fashionable clothes they could get.
In a rather gentle way, they'd be trying to pull.
'And Douglas and Eileen weren't the only couple at wakes week
'hungry for a holiday romance.'
It was a tremendous time for courting.
It was time away from work, from the usual routine.
If you were already courting at home, you'd continue it on holiday,
in separate rooms under the watchful eye of the landlady.
It's a great occasion for "copping off",
particularly at the dances.
Those places were classless.
A female mill worker might hope to get off with the boss's son.
They were opportunities to take a step up the social ladder.
'Against this backdrop of frivolity,
'Douglas and Eileen's romance blossomed.
'When they returned to Oldham and the mill,
'marriage and their first son, George, soon followed.
'And when Dave found the certificates,
'he saw they occurred in quick succession.'
I obtained a copy of the deceased's parents' marriage certificate.
The marriage took place only a month prior to the birth of the deceased.
'It was with this certificate that Dave made his first breakthrough.'
It showed that the deceased's father, I recognised it immediately,
showed that his place of residence at the time was Kentish Town.
I'm from Kentish Town and I know that it's not in Saddleworth, Yorkshire.
It's a suburb of northwest London.
'This seemed strange.
'If George was born in Yorkshire, why was his father listed as living in Kentish Town in the capital?
'This tied in with something Millicent knew about the relationship.'
He had to work away.
She went with him to start with. George was only a tiny baby.
She went with him but she didn't like it down south.
After a short while, she was back here again.
'Knowing George died an only child and had been raised by his mother,
'Dave needed to account for what had happened when George's father, Douglas, was absent.'
I made a search at the probate registry and found that the deceased's father had made a will
and the copy of the will clearly stated
that he left part of his estate to his three sons,
but not the deceased.
'Finally, Dave's research had uncovered family for George.
'Rather than long-lost cousins,
'amazingly, it was George's brothers he'd managed to track down.
'Coming up, Dave lifts the lid on a family secret
'kept hidden for over half a century.'
My priority was not the money, it was the "intriguedness".
"I'm 62 years of age and I've got a brother?"
'Every year, hundreds of cases are cracked by heir hunters in the UK,
'but there are a few estates finding themselves in the "unsolved" file.
'Could you help trace the beneficiaries?
'These cases could be worth anything from £5,000 to millions,
'and they're waiting to be claimed.
'Today, we have three names from the "unsolved" list.
'Could you be eligible to inherit a fortune?
'Winifred Elizabeth Balharrie died over ten years ago, in January 1999,
'in Davyhulme, Cheshire.
'Winifred was born in July 1914, and lived until she was 84 years old.
'Do you remember Winifred?
'Might you know any of her relations?
'John Herbert Featherstone died in Leytonstone, east London
'in December 2007.
'Does John sound familiar?
'Perhaps he was a relative, but you lost touch?
'Marie-Anne Rita Ingerborg Zarine died in February 2004,
'in Rugby, Warwickshire.
'Marie-Anne's name is very rare and originates from Scandinavia.
'Did you know this lady?
'Might you be able to help find beneficiaries to her estate?
'If these estates are not claimed, the money will go to the government.
'But if these names mean anything to you or someone you know, you could be in line to inherit.'
'Heir hunters Fraser & Fraser are trying to find beneficiaries
'to the estate of Barbara Page, who died in 2010,
'leaving behind an estate worth an estimated £100,000.
'The team made a brilliant start, tracing potential heirs
'and hitting the phones with gusto.'
What I'm talking about is somebody called Barbara Ethel Page who died.
'But things began to unravel when they realised there was competition,
'and heirs had already been contacted by a rival firm.'
She's been told not to speak to anyone. Bonk!
'Philip Goldspink knew Barbara and her husband Bill for most of his life,
'as they were very close to his parents, Ron and Elsie.'
We were all very close.
We would spend holidays with them, Christmas with them.
We knew them as Auntie Barbara and Uncle Bill because we saw so much of them.
'Barbara married London cabbie Bill Page in 1951.
'They always seemed very much in love.'
To say they were a devoted couple is an understatement.
They were the perfect couple.
'But 11 years into their marriage, tragedy struck for Barbara.
'George died aged just 39.'
She was absolutely devastated.
She recalled to my sister,
my sister Anne, at one time,
"I cannot believe that I'm widowed at such a very early age."
'Barbara never married again
'but remained close to the Goldspink family
'until she passed away, aged 80.'
I miss Barbara tremendously.
Barbara was part of our family. Barbara was always there.
At Christmas time, we didn't think of inviting Barbara.
Barbara was there, and she looked upon us as her family.
'Back in the office, things are not going particularly well for Fran.
'But it looks like her luck might be on the turn.
'An heir she left a message for has called back.'
Hello, Mr Clark. Thank you so much for having phoned.
'He's about to give the team a massive advantage.'
Ah! That would explain why we couldn't find her.
She's been 20 years in Lanzarote.
That will explain why we couldn't find a death record for her.
Bye bye for now. Thanks. Bye.
'Gareth wastes no time getting Simon Mills onto this lead,
'tracking down a cousin they'd struggled to find a phone number for.
'She's living in Lanzarote.
'And now the calls are coming in thick and fast for Fran.'
Two o'clock will be fine. Many thanks indeed. Bye bye.
Mr Davis, who I spoke to first this morning,
has phoned back and said that he will change his plans
and we can go and see him later this afternoon, after all. Brilliant.
'Finally, Fran can put travelling researcher Bob Smith to good use,
'and send him to his first heir, in the hope that they sign an agreement
'with the company, and inherit a share of Barbara's £100,000 estate.'
I've got you a 2 o'clock appointment in Bromley on a job called Page.
'Fran lets Bob know he may face competition on the road
'when visiting heirs.'
-They've been contacting people already.
-Telling them not to speak to anyone.
I think now, as a result of the phone call from the office,
the fact that I've got an appointment and there's competition,
that makes things...
You know, there's a bit of pressure now.
'Bob's on his way to Bromley in Kent for a meeting with Paul Davis,
'a cousin to Barbara, and a potential heir.
'And whilst en route, Fran calls with some more good news.'
-I've spoken with a cousin of this chap.
-They're coming along to his cousin Paul's at 2 o'clock, if he can.
-So you'll have two of them there.
Speak to you later.
'Bob thinks this is a good sign.'
Things are looking positive for us.
If they've cancelled another company's appointment, that's good.
But the pressure's still on. The pressure is on.
'The pressure's being felt in the office, too.
'As soon as Gareth passes Fran the phone number of the potential heir in Lanzarote,
'she's reaching for the handset.'
We did an issue search from your marriage. We found that you weren't dead and no longer living in the UK.
We found that you had two children
and that they're both out there with you!
'Finally, Bob has arrived at Paul Davis' house in Bromley.
'Paul's cousin Martin has joined them for the meeting.
'The team have been frantically working towards this moment,
'an interview with two heirs, and the chance that they'll sign a contract with the company.'
Mr Davis, I'll ask the questions to you.
If you know a better answer, feel free.
'Paul and Martin are paternal cousins to Barbara.
'Paul is the son of Ellen Westwood.
'Martin is the son of Alfred Westwood.'
Now, your mother's brothers and sisters?
Wally Westwood. Jim Westwood.
We don't seem to have that name on our family tree.
This is one of the reasons for the questionnaire.
-It was a name we didn't know about. Was Eileen married?
-Yes. Two daughters.
'Having been initially contacted by a rival firm,
'Paul and Martin would like time to think before they sign a contract.'
Thank you. I'll be in touch.
'But Bob feels the interview went really well and he has vital new information for Fran.'
-There is an additional person on the top line not on your tree.
I'm going to get off the phone and rush downstairs.
'Fran quickly relays this information to Gareth.'
-There is an Eileen Westwood.
-Can you follow up this person?
She has two children.
'The team have been told about the stem of Eileen Westwood,
'another paternal aunt to Barbara.
'Any children or grandchildren Eileen had would be heirs.
'The team plough all their efforts
'into tracking down this final stem of the tree that they'd missed.
'Will they reach the heirs ahead of the competition?'
Married to Margaret, if that's what you're doing. Maybe in Tonbridge.
I'm cross-checking marriages of Margaret E Moore to Reginald.
I've got an address in Rochester. Trouble is I don't think they're there any more.
'Finally, the team have a lead for Bob and want him to head straight there.'
Have you got a pen and paper ready for this part of the family?
Eileen is Eileen May.
It looks like we've got one of the children up-to-date in Chatham.
I've got to go and see him.
'The team have now uncovered the phone numbers for Barbara's cousins once removed.
'Will they have been contacted by a rival company?'
Are you in for the rest of the evening?
You're out at half past seven?
He's been spoken to already.
'This heir HAS been called by the competition.
'But they've been thrown a lifeline. The heir is happy for Bob to also come and see them.'
If you are able to see him between quarter past six and half past seven
-he'll see you.
-I'll do my best.
'Barbara's paternal aunt, Eileen, had two daughters.
'One is an heir. The other passed away.
'Her two children would inherit their mother's share.
'Bob needs to try and meet all three heirs, and he refuses to be beaten.'
Rise to the challenge.
Always have. Always will.
'Bob certainly does rise to the challenge.
'Over the next couple of hours, he has meetings with a cousin and a cousin once removed,
'one of whom signs with the company.'
That's it. 7 o'clock finish.
That's not bad. I'll settle for that most weeks.
'A few weeks later,
'Fran has tied up all the loose ends of her case.
'She and the team manage to sign the majority of the 14 heirs.
'Two of whom were Martin and Paul, who Bob visited.'
It is a shame. We didn't keep in contact for many years.
Although I knew her years ago.
'The beneficiaries the company signed will share a claim to Barbara's £100,000 estate.
'Heir hunters have been investigating
'the estate of George Ardley, who passed away in the Yorkshire village of Uppermill in 2009,
'leaving behind an estate made up of £160,000 and a herd of cows.
'George was a big part of the community.
'A devoted farmer, he was also something of a performer.
'George was a keen singer and was known for his performances of local traditional songs in dialect.'
George sang at my 60th birthday and my mother's 90th birthday.
This is a recording of George singing.
And they played this at his funeral.
And it sounded wonderful.
He had a wonderful singing voice in dialect.
# Good neighbour folk, now how you bin?
# Let me tell you where I've bin
# What I've 'eard and what I've sin
# It'll cap you wi' your larkin... #
SINGS ALONG TO CHORUS IN DIALECT
Great little man. Great little man.
'When George died, Millicent contacted Fraser's,
'as she was concerned that he might have had relatives, and his estate could lay unclaimed.
'Amazingly, Dave Slee discovered George had three half brothers,
'who would all be beneficiaries.
'Nobody was more shocked by the revelation than George's friend Millicent Parker.'
I got a phone call and he said, "It's Mr Fraser."
I thought, "Who the heck's Mr Fraser?"
I'd forgotten that I'd been in touch with him.
He says, "You'll be surprised to know, we've found some relatives of George's."
I said, "Oh, yes? Have you?"
He said, "Yes. He's got three half brothers."
You could have knocked me down with a feather.
The shock! I said, "What a shame. He would have been so pleased."
'In a bitter-sweet twist,
'Dave's revelation confirmed what George suspected.
'That after his parents separated,
'his father went on to have another family.'
George always wanted to know if he'd got a brother and sister.
When his mother was alive,
he didn't want to do anything and upset her.
Knowing that he wanted to know them, we were going to do something about it this year.
I just only wish we'd have done it earlier and found them.
'Dave had uncovered three half brothers to George Ardley,
'all born in the south of England.
'It seems that Douglas remained married to Eileen,
'but moved back to London and had a common law wife, Phyllis Short,
'with whom he had three sons, one of whom is John Ardley.'
The letter said, "We believe that you have got a long-lost half brother.
"We believe that you will be a beneficiary to his estate."
My priority was not the money, is was the "intriguedness".
"I'm 62 years of age and I've got a brother?"
'Before hearing from the heir hunters,
'John never had an inkling that his father had a previous family.'
I don't know anything about my dad's private life before I was born.
I do know that he was a precision toolmaker.
That's why he was sent to Uppermill to do some work on the mill.
'Naturally, John was keen to find out what had happened to his long-lost brother.
'This meant a visit to Uppermill.'
We went for two days and found as much information as we could,
went to the pub where the wake was held, and the house,
seeing the neighbours,
who directed us to Brenda, the flower person, knew him very well.
I had Millicent's name and address before we went there.
We went round for lunch.
They were saying was what a great guy he was, what a nice person,
always see him in the main street of Uppermill,
cadging a lift to go and see his animals.
'Once John had met George's friends,
'he needed to understand the relationship between his father and George's mother, Eileen.
'Unsurprisingly, Millicent held the key.'
I know his mother and father stayed in contact for quite a while.
George remembers seeing his father when he was seven.
How much longer after, I've no idea.
But I know there was a pile of letters.
'John has had time to look through the letters
'written by his father to George's mother.
'This has given him the chance to understand better the situation his father found himself in.'
They're a bit old to call them love letters.
They're certainly letters that are to the heart, like.
The letters are very meant.
'Referring to George as "young Doug",
'John's father wrote frequently to his wife and son,
'expressing how he longed to be reunited with them.'
"I want a decent job,
"so you, young Doug and myself can be together."
It's basically signed off, "Your loving husband, Douglas."
Lots of kisses. Every one is just affection.
It just seems to be, you know?
Trying to decipher between the lines before he met my mother,
he was trying very hard to carry on with his married life in Oldham.
She couldn't get down here. He couldn't get up there.
Transport wasn't what it's like today so it was even more difficult.
'John's father never made it back to Uppermill to be with his wife and son.
'In the late '30s, he met Phyllis in London
'and they went on to have a family of their own.
'John will never know how his father felt about leaving his first family.
'He doesn't remember any skeletons in the closet when he was growing up.'
I don't know whether my mother knew
that he had a son and was married up in Oldham.
Nothing was mentioned at all.
All I know is Mum and Dad and the three boys.
'When the file was closed on the case of George Ardley,
'John and his brothers were the only beneficiaries Neil and the team traced,
'equally sharing George's £160,000 estate and his herd of cattle.'
One of the things particularly nice about this estate
was Mrs Parker was a life-long friend of Mr Ardley.
Her relationship is why we became involved
and we've been able to fulfil her promises back to Mr Ardley
about making sure that the right people get his money.
'With these revelations, John feels he has a duty to the brother he never knew.'
I have promised them that I will put a stone in there, a headstone.
His mother is buried with him, so I shall put a headstone in
with the relevant wording on it.
And they liked that, the friends.
'After meeting John, Millicent feels delighted
'that George's estate will go to his real family,
'even if he never had a chance to know them himself.'
He would have been thrilled to bits with them. He would, really.
That's my one regret.
That we didn't try earlier.
'If you would like advice
'about building your family tree or making a will, go to:
Subtitling by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]