St Albans NCT babies group reunited after chance meeting in gym changing room

St Albans NCT babies reunited: Rebecca Westlake is on the far-left of the left-hand picture and the

St Albans NCT babies reunited: Rebecca Westlake is on the far-left of the left-hand picture and the left of the right-hand photo. Helen is on the far-right of both photos. Pictures: Rebecca Westlake. - Credit: Archant

These two photos mark the union and reunion of a NCT babies group after a chance meeting in a gym ended nearly 40 years of separation.

Rebecca Westlake was in the changing room at Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Gym when she overhead two women talking about how their daughters would be turning 40 soon.

She said: “As they chatted, it became apparent these two ladies had known each other when their babies were little, but hadn’t really seen each other much in recent years. When they mentioned their daughters’ birthdays were in November, my ears pricked up.

“Then they started to chat about the ‘other babies’ and I realised these ladies were NCT friends.”

National Childbirth Trust groups are made up of expectant parents who attend classes where they are paired with other couples who are expecting around the same time.

Rebecca, who was born in 1978, was part of a group of four babies with another girl named Rebecca (whose mother, Caroline, shared a name with Rebecca Westlake’s mother), Philip and Helen before moving to Harpenden.

Rebecca continued: “One of the woman [in the gym] said ‘I wonder what happened to the other Caroline, with little Rebecca. The one who lived in Grange Street then moved to Harpenden’.

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“I think I actually felt a shiver run up and down my spine and I just blurted out, ‘I’m Rebecca!’ Obviously they looked at me like I was completely mad, which was not helped by the fact we were all stood there in towels, but then realised what I was saying. We were all so shocked!

“They had lost touch with my mum when I was really quite little. I immediately thought of this photo, which I had seen so many times in my parents’ album. It’s the NCT babies.

“As if things weren’t already surreal enough, it then turned out that one of the ‘babies’ was married to one of my university friends who I hadn’t seen for years but bumped into again recently and now see quite regularly because our daughters play hockey together.”

The friend, Peter Edge, had married Helen and had a daughter who attended Harpenden Hockey Club with Rebecca’s daughter.

The group are now looking for Philip, who they believe has links to Hatfield.

Rebecca said: “All very strange, but so nice that I’ve been able to put my mum back in touch with these ladies who she shared such a special time with.”