Two to three showers a day didn’t appeal to Tom but it was necessary because they were sweating profusely.’
They were both ready when the girls returned and had to wait until they got ready to go out.
Matthew Hogg’s Carpenter shop got a call from Mr Gerald Fox three days after George Taylors visit to the adoption agency.
George was told that Elizabeth Stephenson was prepared to meet him on Saturday the 31st August.’
They arranged to meet in Jesmond Dene; close to where she now lived.
George got himself ready with a clean shirt and his suit, the only decent one he had.
They were to meet on the Armstrong Bridge at one o’clock.
He took a bus and was dropped off at Chillingham Road where he walked down to the bridge. He was early and he carried the box and a case with him with Sarah Jane Whites possessions inside.
He had been standing on the bridge for over half an hour when he noticed a lady walking towards him. It was very strange as the woman looked the double of her mother. George walked towards her and then stood for a moment.’
“Hello Miss Stephenson, I am George Taylor I was a very good friend of your mothers.’
It’s Mrs Jacobs now.’
They walked along then into the Dene and found a bench where they sat in the sunshine. It was very peaceful with only the sounds of the birds as they tweeted away.’
“What can I do for you Mr Taylor?’
“Please, call me George, “I do not know if Mr Fox told you about your mother Mrs Jacobs. She died last week.’ she was only seventy two years old.’
“Yes Mr Fox did inform me.’
“I was wondering if you would like to take care of your mother’s funeral.’
“If you are expecting me to pay for my estranged mother’s funeral George then you are mistaken; I never knew my mother at all as she dumped me at the adoption agency when I was born. I was brought up by Mrs Joanne Birdsey; I regard her as my mother.’
“That is quite understandable Mrs Jacobs but there are things that I must explain first.
“Your mother was also brought up in the adoption agency and got pregnant at the age of sixteen. This was very bad in those days and to have a child out of wedlock was seen as shame. The miller she got pregnant by was just a lad himself and could not afford to bring you up as his own. She did however marry an eminent banker called John James White and had two sons.’
“Are they alive asked Elizabeth?’
“No sadly, Robert and John James junior were both killed in the Second World War.’
I was only eight years old when I met your real mother for the first time. I used to clear her path when there was snow on the ground, help her with groceries after her husband died.’
She was a lovely lady, who was kind and treated me just like her own son.’
She would bake and give me biscuits and sweets for school until her health deteriorated after the death of her husband. She became more and more reclusive.