Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heartache, Hell but Then Hope as Sisters Reunited

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heartache, Hell but Then Hope as Sisters Reunited

Article excerpt

FOR 55 years they led very different lives, not knowing the other existed.

One grew up with a loving adoptive family who encouraged her to go on to become Britain's greatest woman golfer. The other stayed with her natural family and had a tormented start, suffering at the hands of her father.

But now, long lost sisters Jenny Lucas and Helen Edwards have been reunited after Jenny turned DIY detective to seek out the sister she lived without for decades Jenny, Growing up in Jesmond, Newcastle, and attending Church High School she showed her sporting potential from an early age and received much encouragement from her parents. But a heated argument with one of her cousins saw the world she thought she knew crash down around her.

"I was sticking up for three of the girls when the older one turned around and said 'I don't know why you are entering into this, you're not even part of this family'.

"I was devastated. My father had died when I was 12 and when I tried to speak to my mother about it she just didn't want to talk about it. It was a taboo subject."

Determined not to upset the woman who had given her a perfect start to life, Jenny agreed not to pursue the issue.

Meanwhile, Helen was enduring a troubled life with parents Mercia and Tommy Lumsden which saw her move from house to house around the North East before they eventually left to live in South Africa.

The 61-year-old, now of Morpeth, Northumberland, said: "I had a difficult childhood of disappointment, heartbreak and violence. "We moved around a lot and ended up in South Africa.

"It was my father who was violent, he had a very volatile temper and used to explode at the slightest thing.

"I think as a child you don't realise you're having a difficult childhood because you just think it's normal.

It's not until you get older that you realise.

"At this time I didn't have a clue about Jenny, I went through life completely oblivious."

In 1975 Jenny's intrigue into her birth parents was sparked once again when it became possible for adopted children to apply for a copy of their Jenny, who paved the way for women golfers after winning the inaugural British Women's Open in 1976, said: "I had a wonderful childhood and wonderful parents but there was also always something missing so I applied for my birth certificate. …

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