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Californian returns to Yarmouth roots

PUBLISHED: 10:30 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 30 June 2010

Tony Farrow with his grandson Shane Francis

Tony Farrow with his grandson Shane Francis

A FORMER Great Yarmouth man flew thousands of miles to visit old haunts and see long-lost relatives.

Tony Farrow, 69, and grandson Shane Francis, 17, made the long trip from California in the USA last week.

A FORMER Great Yarmouth man flew thousands of miles to visit old haunts and see long-lost relatives.

Tony Farrow, 69, and grandson Shane Francis, 17, made the long trip from California in the USA last week.

During his stay, the retired mortgage company owner was also reunited with two of his cousins, David Clarke and Derek Barker, after one of them had contacted him after seeing an obituary notice in The Mercury in memory of Tony's mother Gladys.

Avid Mercury reader Gladys still received her weekly copy of the newspaper despite living thousands of miles away in the town of Carlsbad.

The visit was only the second time Tony had visited the town in 35 years. His family had left during the 1950s to live in Australia and returned briefly before heading Stateside during the early 1960s.

During his recent trip, he saw the house he grew up in at The Rows and visited the Time and Tide Museum in Blackfriars Road as well as some of the historic buildings in Tolhouse Street.

He also enjoyed tasting the traditional Yarmouth chips from the stalls on the Market Place and remembered the smell of the town's bakeries from his youth.

Mr Farrow said: “I have really enjoyed my trip here. It has answered many of the unanswered questions about my past.”

However, he said he would not miss the heavy traffic on Yarmouth's roads and longed for the warm Californian sun.

The father-of-two stayed at the Pier Hotel in Gorleston after arriving for his five-day stay as part of a whistle-stop European tour that had also taken in Paris and the Normandy beaches where his father Daniel had fought in the British Army during the second world war.

Cousin Derek Barker, who lives in Caister, said: “We did a lot of catching up.”


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