A Leighton Buzzard mum and former owner of Ann’s Bridal Room has finally met her sister thanks to ITV show Long Lost Family, and will be appearing on Lorraine to talk about her experience tomorrow morning.
Ann Beggs, 45, has found her half sister, Cathie Cutler-Evans, who was put up for adoption by her mother, Adrienne, when Adrienne was 19 and a single mother.
Adrienne always told Ann, and Ann’s brother, Mark, that they had an older sister, but sadly Adrienne passed away in February 2012 after spending years searching for her daughter since Cathie turned 18.
Then, earlier this year, Ann received the surprise of a lifetime when she received a letter from the Long Lost Family team saying they were helping Cathie, who wanted to find out what happened to her birth mother.
Ann said: “Mum was the best - she was just amazing. We always knew about Cathie - there was never a sit down moment; Cathie was always spoken about for as long as I remember.
“I hope people who watch the show learn what life was like in the 60s - things were very different if you were a single mother.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster and the Long Lost Family team were brilliant.
“I always wanted to find Cathie to the point of obsession and when we met in March the connection was palpable. It has been an amazing journey.”
Ann, who is now a personal assistant, will be appearing on ITV’s Lorraine between 8.30am and 9.30am tomorrow morning, along with Cathie.
Their Long Lost Family ITV episode will air at 9pm on Wednesday (July 26), produced by Wall To Wall Productions.
Ann added: “Mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her 30s and was always fundraising for charities. She was well known in Leighton Buzzard.
“Giving Cathie up for adoption devastated mum; I don’t think she ever got over it... she used to write Cathie’s birthday in her diary every year.”
Ann lives with her husband, Nick, 55. She has three children from a previous marriage: Olivia, 24, and twins Jake and Callum, 21, and Ann and Nick have a daughter, Willow, 15.
Olivia has also blessed her mum with a granddaughter, ten month old Orla.
To find out more about Ann, Adrienne and Cathie, pick up a copy of next Tuesday’s Leighton Buzzard Observer.
An ITV spokesperson described the upcoming show: “We met Cathie Cutler-Evans, a woman desperate to find her birth mother after more than 50 years apart.
“Cathie lives in Chester where she runs a barbers shop and raises her three sons. She grew up on the Wirral where she had a happy childhood and knew from an early age she was adopted.
“When she was a teenager, Cathie’s adoptive parents showed her a letter from her birth mother Adrienne, thanking Cathie’s adoptive parents for giving her a loving home and asking them to explain to Cathie how much she loved her. It was a life changing moment for Cathie, who wanted to know more about her birth mother.
“Cathie’s adoptive mum told her all she knew about her birth mum. Adrienne was 19 and single when she gave birth. She wanted Cathie to be part of a family so after caring for her daughter for the first ten weeks, she took her to an adoption agency in Liverpool.
“Despite years of longing, Cathie was no nearer to finding her mum and had very little information to go on. Long Lost Family searched marriage records and found a marriage for Adrienne Powell in Cheshire in 1966, which seemed very likely to be Cathie’s mum.
“After searching under her married name, we discovered the tragic news that Adrienne had died in 2012 and tragically Cathie would not be able to meet her birth mother.
“Records did show that Adrienne had two other children, a son Mark and a daughter Ann. Our intermediary contacted Adrienne’s children with the news that Cathie was searching and received an immediate response. Mark didn’t want to appear on camera but Ann asked to meet Nicky.
“Ann explains to Nicky that she always knew about her big sister Cathie and that Adrienne had spent many years searching for Cathie hoping to be re-united with her. Ann is overcome with emotion when she sees a photo of her big sister.
“Cathie is told off-camera about her mother’s passing before Davina visits her to reveal that she has a half brother and sister.
“Cathie is overcome with emotion: “I know I won’t get to see Adrienne, but I can’t wait to meet Ann… I’ve always wanted a sister and now I’ve got one.”
“One week after receiving the news, Cathie travels to Liverpool to meet with her half-sister Ann…”
Cathie said: “Such a long time has passed, but I’ve still thought about mum every day and the older I get, the more I think about her.”