Harpenden man reunites with Dad for Christmas

A HARPENDEN man will spend his first Christmas with his father since 1989, after recently reuniting with him after tracing him online.

Twenty-five-year-old Adam Blake is “very excited” about celebrating Christmas with his dad, Alan Blake, who he lost contact with at the age of four.

Adam moved from Dorset to Bethania, mid-Wales, with his mother and stepfather as a boy. Unfortunately his mum, Lisa, died when Adam was 21 years old, and he shifted from Wales to Harpenden to live with his grandmother.

His quest to find his father took four years to come to fruition, as he struggled initially to “pluck up the courage” to search him out.

Remembering that Alan ran a hotel in Wareham, Dorset, Adam travelled to the town to see if he could locate him. However, he had already left the area and no one had a forwarding address. Adam left his contact details at the hotel and, feeling deflated, returned to Harpenden.

He explained: “I didn’t know what to do next. I was on the train and used my phone to check the electoral register, [online directory] 192.com came up.

“I knew his full name and his partner’s so put both their names in and it came up with their address in Bournemouth.”

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Before he could contact Alan, though, Adam was pleasantly surprised when his dad’s partner’s daughter phoned him, after being given his contact details from Wareham locals. They chatted about his father, before Adam took the plunge and phoned him.

Adam admitted: “I didn’t know what to say to him.” However, they met for a meal in Bournemouth, where his overjoyed dad admitted the lack of contact with his son had left him “filled with regret.”

However, the pair got on so well that Adam said: “it was almost like we were speaking for years. It wasn’t as if we hadn’t spoken for 21 years. We like the same food, the same music, I was even finishing his sentences.”

“It was surreal to finally see him and shake his hand.

“We talked for hours and I had my first pint with him and couldn’t believe that I was having a drink with my dad.”

Alan told Adam that he had half-siblings – one half-brother and two half-sisters, all of whom he has also recently been in contact with.

There was a further pleasant suprise this week when he chatted with his 93-year-old grandad, Fred Blake, who has been in the media after this year’s release of British film Made in Dagenham based on women machinists who protested against sexual discrimination at the Ford Motor Company in 1968. Fred was a trade union official who supported their fight for equal pay.

Adam said that after being reunited with so many family members he was “very excited” about spending Christmas with his father.

He added: “When I look back, my mum was a home carer, so I don’t remember having Christmas with her, and I can’t remember Christmas with my dad, so this will be completely new to me.”