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Family life progressing for Bradwell man

PUBLISHED: 09:43 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:32 03 July 2010

Bradwell man John Ford with his new family and daughter Sharon Emery, back row on the left.

Bradwell man John Ford with his new family and daughter Sharon Emery, back row on the left.

WHEN Bradwell man John Ford opened a mystery registered letter three months ago, he had no way of knowing it would change his life forever.

The letter turned out to be from a 38 year old woman from Hertfordshire claiming to be his daughter - the result of a night out a with friends at Baldock Working Men's Club in 1969.

WHEN Bradwell man John Ford opened a mystery registered letter three months ago, he had no way of knowing it would change his life forever.

The letter turned out to be from a 38 year old woman from Hertfordshire claiming to be his daughter - the result of a night out a with friends at Baldock Working Men's Club in 1969.

Sharon Emery explained in the letter she believed John was her father and that she had been trying to contact him for years.

She said she had known the name of her biological father since she was eight and felt there was a missing part in the jigsaw of her life.

Retired plumber John, 62, said: “When I first read the letter it felt quite numbing.”

A subsequent DNA test arranged through an internet firm proved he was the dad, and father and daughter met for the first time at a Letchworth pub in August.

Now a delighted John and wife Val, of Sorrel Road, are regularly visitors to his daughter's home, where he found he has five grandchildren.

John said: “I have always had step kids and never had any children of my own. Now I have a daughter and five grandchildren that are actually part of me. So I have gone from having four stepchildren to having a tribe.”

He plans to show off his new family next summer and show them around the giths of Great Yarmouth and Norfolk on a holiday.

He said: “It is going brilliantly. My daughter comes up to visit us once a month and we go down there probably once a month to see the kids. We go down on the weekends just for the day.

“But the distance to Letchworth is about 120 miles, making it a 240 mile round trip which makes things difficult. But we still speak to each other every other day and we do keep in touch through email.

“We have found out a lot about each other even though it has only been three months and we do speak quite regularly.”

Fortunately, Mr Ford's sister Mary Butt lives at nearby Shefford so he is able to see her while on visits to Sharon and his grandchildren Dion, 16, Abby, 14, Nicole, 10, Hope, seven and Gracie, five.

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