The home help who looked after Boris Johnson’s grandfather has recalled how the current prime minister used to relentlessly tease her when he was a boy.
Mary Parkman, 85, said she first knew the PM as a ten-year-old already sporting his trademark ‘unruly mop of blond hair’.- and would have never guessed he would achieve his political success.
She helped look after Boris’ grandfather Wilfred ‘Johnny’ Johnson in the 1970s, who lived with his family on a farm near Winsford, Somerset.
The future politician would then come to visit his family during his holidays from Eton College.
Mrs Parkman, who now lives in Taunton, remembers her time with the Johnsons fondly – Boris included.
She said: ‘I remember him as a fun-loving lad who used to tease me. He was frequently getting into scuffs and had an unruly mop of blond hair.
‘[The house] was about two miles up an old track and Boris’s grandfather would leave the keys to an old car on the wheel so I could drive it to their farm rather than damage my own.
‘It was usually swimming in water from previous rainfall, but would always start.
‘If not, it would take about an hour to walk to the farmhouse up this remote track, rain snow or shine.
‘I got to know the family well – even Buster, his grandmother, until she had to have full time care.
‘They were a lovely family and devoted to each other.
‘I never thought at the time he would have been Mayor of London and then Prime Minister.’
Mrs Parkman has twice written to Mr Johnson since those days, congratulating him first on being elected Mayor of London and more recently on entering Number 10.
She added: ‘I have received lovely replies from him and he remembers with fondness his time at Nethercote.
‘Of course, if he were to be elected (to stand) again, I would vote for him.’