St Albans woman’s search for missing father

ARMED with nothing but hope, a St Albans woman has renewed her search for her biological father as she feels like a “chunk of her life is missing”.

Hayley Flitton, of Frogmore, discovered in her early 20s that the man she grew up with was not her dad after he revealed the truth to her sister.

Since then she has been trying to find her birth father, John Byrne, through social network sites, electoral rolls and Shenley Hospital records as he used to work there.

However the Shenley records are apparently locked until 2090 by the Metropolitan archives, making her search extremely difficult

Her mother Angela Francis Elliott met him at the hospital on Radlett Lane when she was working as a trainee nurse in 1976.

John was originally from Ireland and worked as a live-in domestic at the former psychiatric hospital.

He was there for around a year before the couple split up and he returned home with his parents.

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Hayley, 35, said: “This smashed my whole world to pieces, so now I feel I have twice lost a father.”

She has since had three children and would love her birth dad to meet his grandchildren.

She added: “I want to know where I came from. I feel this urgency to meet my dad and I want to know about him.”

Hayley said that the chances of her father being able to find her are slim, as she is registered on her birth certificate under her mum’s new husband’s name.

She has described the search for him as “very frustrating and upsetting” and said “something’s got to give”, adding: “I really don’t know where he is, he could be in this country somewhere.”

The mother-of-three was hoping to find her dad before she got married last year so he could walk her down the aisle.

Her son, who was 14 at the time, gave her away after she was unable to locate him.

She said: “If I ever find my dad, me and Philip [her husband] are going to get married again.”

Now Hayley is calling on people in the district to contact her if they have any information.

The description she has been given of her father in his younger years is of a very tall, slim, and handsome man with dark eyes and black hair.

Hayley said: “One of my mum’s friends worked with him and said he was a really charming, down to earth, bubbly, fun guy.”

He was known to play the guitar and frequented the hospital’s old social club along with her mother and the other staff.

His birth year was 1958 but he apparently changed that to 1953 as he lied about his age. He is believed to have been born in Dublin.

John also had a brother who lived in Radlett and worked part-time as a domestic at the hospital due to study commitments.

Hayley said she now saw newspapers and day time talk shows as her last hope and was currently in talks with the Jeremy Kyle Show.

She has also contacted Irish radio stations but is unsure which part of the country he came from, adding: “My mum went over with him to the family home but she can’t remember what part of Ireland it was in.”

“Although I have had to carry on with my life, having borne three children and getting married, I desperately need the missing piece to the jigsaw of my life.

“Today I still feel that there is a significant part of mine and my family’s life missing.”

n Did you work at Shenley Hospital in the mid 1970s? Do you think you know someone matching the description of Hayley’s birth father? If so, email