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Daughter’s bid to trace real dad in Forest Gate

Alan Faithfull in Forest Gate, the man who raised Debby who was not her father. Alan Faithfull in Forest Gate, the man who raised Debby who was not her father.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
12:57 PM

After a lifetime surrounded by lies, Canada-born Debby Mcbride is on the hunt for her 
father in Forest Gate.

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Debby McBride, 49, Ontario,CanadaDebby McBride, 49, Ontario,Canada

When her half-brother broke the news that the man who raised her was not her biological father she said she was “devastated” and knew she needed to find her real dad.

“I just want to know who I really am,” said Debby.

“I always felt like I never belonged. I’m praying he hasn’t passed away, I think he should be in his early 70s now and I just want to know who he is and what he is like. I’m sure he knows of my existence”.

Debby’s mother, Anne Joan Vaughan, and the man who raised her as his own, Alan Faithfull, grew up in Forest Gate, Newham.

The only photograph Debby has of her biological fatherThe only photograph Debby has of her biological father

Alan lived on Green Street and worked at a construction company called Coldstream on Bignold Road and Anne worked in a sweet shop on Station Road.

They got married in 1959 and moved to Canada soon after. But Anne came back to Newham in 1963 for five months, during which time Debby was conceived.

“I was born in April 1964, which was less than nine months after my mother had been reunited with Alan in Canada, so I know my real father was living in Forest Gate at the time.

“My mother told Alan I was premature, but he always knew that I wasn’t his child. He chose to raise me anyway. On his deathbed I told Alan that I felt like I had never belonged. I can’t believe that he didn’t think it was right to tell me who my real father was at this point.”

Debby (bottom right) with Alan, the man who raised her (left) and her mother (top)Debby (bottom right) with Alan, the man who raised her (left) and her mother (top)

Because of the problem childhood Debby endured she made the decision to cut contact with her mother on her 16th birthday.

Not long before, her mother’s brother approached her saying he needed to tell her something important.

“I think my mother knew my uncle was trying to tell me who my dad was and she made sure we were never alone so that I never found out.

“Since I cut contact with my mother in 1980 she never 
attempted to get in touch until my niece’s wedding in 2007.

“She kept coming up to me at that wedding and trying to tell me something and because she died soon after, I wonder whether she was trying to explain who my dad was.

“I wasn’t ready to forgive her yet so was still too bitter to talk to her that day. I can’t help but feel guilt now”.

Debby has been trying to get in touch with her biological 
father for five years now. She has tracked down two of Alan’s colleagues, Terry Crisp and David Goodhew, who also worked at the Forest Gate construction company.

She showed David the only photo she has of, who she believes, is her real father and he thought he might have worked at the company too.

“I went to a psychic and she guessed that I had been in touch with David and Terry,” Debbie said. “She also told me one of them might have vital information about my father.

“If my father has a family of his own and wants to keep me separate I understand and won’t interfere. I just want to make contact and know who he is. Then I’ll leave him alone if he wants.”

Debby has never been to England but is planning a trip to Forest Gate in the next few years. “I hope that someone will recognise my family from this story and get in touch so that I can get some answers, I’m desperate.”

Anybody who may have information about Coldstream construction company in the ’60s and ’70s, the Vaughan family or the Gale family that could help Debby trace her father, please contact the Recorder at anna.silverman@archant.co.uk, or call 020 8477 3789.

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