A woman who was ‘left for dead’ as a baby inside a public toilet is shocked to discover that both herself and her long lost brother were products of an affair – with the sibling admitting she didn’t ‘miss anything’ by not growing up with their ‘hard’ mother.
Adopted Fi Beazer, from Bath, was just two hours old when she was discovered in a ladies public lavatory in Warminster on 17 June 1962 by a man who heard her crying.
A local newspaper clipping published at the time explained: ‘Had the child lain in the toilet all night, she could not have survived the ordeal of exposure and profuse bleeding and would have died, a doctor said later.’
Fi was recently reunited with three paternal half-sisters and her full sibling Stephen thanks to ITV’s Long Lost Family and longed to hear about her parents’ personalities.
But in an astonishing confession, her brother admitted: ‘You haven’t missed anything by not being involved, I’ll tell you that now, seriously,’ when cameras return to the family during tonight’s special episode.
Fi and Stephen met for the first time away from the cameras, but agreed to be filmed returning to his childhood home for tonight’s show.
‘Her story is horrendous and she has a perfect right to get a conclusion,’ Stephen said of the meeting, while Fi explained: ‘I’m really looking forward to meeting him, he is somebody that knew both of our parents and he is around to tell me what they were like as people.’
Stephen had a very unconventional upbringing; from the age of one he lived on a farm with his mother, his father, his father’s wife and their daughter Jackie.
He told Fi that his father’s wife was aware her husband was having an affair with their mother, but no one ever confirmed Stephen’s parentage. However, DNA testing on the show confirmed Fi and Stephen share the same parents.
Recalling his childhood, Stephen told Fi: ‘I lived under that roof for 20 odd years… I never knew any different that it wasn’t my mother giving me my tea once I come home from school.
‘That would’ve been Jackie’s mother. Realistically, if it wasn’t for her… she looked out for me when I was a kid more than our mother.
‘[Our mother] could do her own thing, she was nobody’s fool. She really wasn’t. She was very matter of fact. Modern day take on it would be an out and out tomboy. I can’t say I ever particularly saw a soft side.’
When asked by Fi if their mum was ever affectionate or one to offer hugs, Stephen admitted: ‘No, I can’t remember any of that.’
‘[Our father and mother] were both as bad as one another, I’m sorry to say. They were both out of order for what happened.’
Fi later confessed that she had mixed thoughts towards her biological mother, saying: ‘From what I gather from Stephen, she was quite a hard woman.
‘I’m still trying to work out my feelings toward my birth mother. I had actually just thought she was about maybe 15 or 16, was absolutely terrified, and just left this baby somewhere where she thought it would be found.’
After hearing about her parents, Fi – who is planning on keeping in contact and building a relationship with her sibling – said: ‘I was so, so fortunate, and that’s one of the very good things that has come out of this journey.
‘It probably has made me realise just how fortunate I’ve been. I may have been the one that was left, but I wouldn’t change anything.
‘And coming full circle, I’ve got my family. How very lucky am I? I have two families. Not many people can say that.’
After being left in the public toilets, Fi was nursed back to health in foster care after being discovered before being adopted by Ralph and Helen Beazer in Bath.
She knew she was adopted from a young age but it wasn’t until her early 30s that she met with a social worker in the hope of discovering her biological mother’s name – but her birth certificate showed it was unknown.
‘When I discovered I was just a foundling it was absolutely awful. I felt my life was out of control. I didn’t know how to go about sorting this mystery,’ admitted Fi.
While the public toilets where Fi was found have now been demolished, she still visits the spot during the programme.
Becoming emotional, she said about her mother: ‘I have no doubt in whatever direction she went she would have heard me crying.’
Using the DNA database, the Long Lost Family found Fi’s siblings – who used to live on the street where she was left – and the mother is united with half-sibling Jackie on the show.
Elsewhere on the programme, Simon Jeffery, who was nicknamed Oliver Twist by hospital staff after he was left by his birth mother in a corned beef box at a railway tavern, learned his parent ‘still loved him’ after encouraging his six siblings to find him.
Unfortunately, his full sister and brothers didn’t understand what their mother meant when she said ‘There is another one, go look for him’ during a nursing home stay and brushed it aside as ramblings since she had never mentioned an extra child before.
But for Simon, now 57, from Greenhithe, Kent, it is proof that his mother still thought of him and loved him – despite never telling any of her children about him.
Reunited with his six full siblings on Long Lost Family previously, Simon is told about his mother’s admission by his brother in tonight’s episode.
The sibling admitted: ‘[Our mother] said to me one day, “there is another one, go look for him”. I just thought it was some ramblings but now it puts it into context.’
‘If that is the case,’ said Simon, ‘it proves she still loved me and still thought of me but for whatever reason she had to give me up.
‘Just that little bit, “there’s another one”, that was quite comforting that was. The most important thing now is that we’ve been brought together as a family.’
Simon still had a wet umbilical cord when he was left in a box outside a railway tavern in Greenhithe, Kent – now a McDonald’s restaurant – on October 23 1963.
Nicknamed Oliver Twist by staff at Gravesend Hospital, Simon’s story hit the headlines – but he only learned about his beginnings by chance at the age of 10.
Simon was taken in by Gravesend foster carers Cathleen and Earnest Jeffrey who went on to adopt him. His parents have now passed away, but he still lives in the same house with his wife Jane, and son Jack.
But when Simon was 10, he made a discovery that forced him to question who his parents really were.
‘Me and my friend were rummaging around and we found a tin,’ he explains. ‘I opened it up and its newspaper cuttings in there. I pulled out the cuttings and the first one I saw was “abandoned baby”.’
‘Because the newspaper cutting didn’t actually say my name I was thinking, “maybe it’s not me” – but then there was another newspaper cutting that really clarified it all.
‘It was a picture of the baby. I’d already seen this picture because I had the actual original copy in the house. That’s when I realised this was me.’
DNA results on Long Lost Family last year unveiled that Simon had six siblings – but sadly, both of his parents and two of his brothers had died, leaving two living sisters and two living brothers.
They all grew up in Gravesend and two of his sisters still live there – with all the family now in regular contact.