Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 11:37 UK
Nottinghamshire mother and son reunited after 60 years
Man holds old woman's hand
A mother and son have finally been reunited after 60 years

A North Nottinghamshire mother has been reunited with her son after 60 years.

Olive Parrish, 81, who lives in Worksop, last saw her son Danny McPhail, in 1949, when he was just 18 months old.

Danny's father walked out on Olive, taking his son with him. Danny said: "I was told my mother had abandoned me. It was obviously lies."

The pair finally met in 2010 when contact was made through an internet forum.

Danny, 62, lives in Edinburgh and does not speak to his father, and the rest of his Scottish family, any more.

He broke contact after he discovered the family secret which kept him apart from his Nottinghamshire family for so long.

Danny has never found out why his father took him from his family home in Wigan, Lancashire.

Every Christmas my mother used to sing for Danny and that was a tradition. He was never far from our hearts
Carol White

Attempts were made by both sides to make contact over the years.

A letter from Olive, who later settled in Langold near Worksop, was intercepted and destroyed. Danny's attempts at contact also ended in failure, until a friend did some research on the internet in July 2010.

The friend eventually made contact with Carol White, Danny's half-sister.

"My sister Carol phoned me," said Danny. "She said 'are you Danny'? I said 'yes', she said 'well, I've got shocking news for you, this is your sister!' It was every emotion rolled into one.

"I spoke to my mother, it was too emotional to keep on the phone for long. She said she missed me and she had been looking for me for 60 years."

Olive kept his memory alive despite remarrying and having a further nine children.

"We've always known about Danny," said Carol.

"Every Christmas my mother used to sing for Danny and that was a tradition. He was never far from our hearts."

Danny needed many questions answered. Olive reassured him that she had not abandoned him.

"She [Olive] said 'your father put you in the pram, took you for a walk and took you to Scotland, no reasons, no excuses, nothing.'"

Danny visited Langold to meet his mum in August.

"There were hugs and tears, what you would expect," said Danny.

"Something has been lifted from my mother," said Carol. "It's like she's whole again, the brightness has come back in her face."

Danny has still to meet his sister Heather, who Olive was pregnant with when her husband took him away.

There is also the small matter of meeting Olive's 39 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific