An Abbots Langley resident has been reunited with his long-lost brother after a chance delivery of a housing magazine.
Resident Leslie Clark, 88, has been reunited with his brother Peter Clark, 79, after more than 60 years apart, after Peter recognised Leslie in a photo in a magazine from Watford Community Housing.
The chance encounter was set in motion after Leslie agreed to participate in a photoshoot at his village home to promote the Green Homes Grant Scheme.
With news of the scheme shared far and wide across Three Rivers and beyond, Peter who lived in Watford was taken aback by the photo when he picked up the magazine whilst gardening last year.
Taking a break from his garden, Peter sat with a cup of tea and opened Voice magazine. Beneath a story entitled ‘Watford Community Housing goes green’ he was astonished to read of a Mr Leslie Clark, who would be the same age, and bore a striking resemblance to his long-lost brother.
The brothers now reunited have reflected on their incredible story and how it feels to be catching up on lost time.
Speaking about his initial reaction after reading the magazine, Peter said: “I couldn’t quite believe it. I’d just taken a break from the gardening to have a cup of tea and I read through this story, all the while thinking, that’s got to be my brother!
“There was a little bit of doubt though as I hadn’t seen him in so long, it was difficult to picture him at the age he is now. But I rang Watford Community Housing, and they passed my phone number on to Leslie. I waited, and sure enough he rang, and we arranged to meet.”
Leslie said it was surreal to see Peter again after all those years apart, recalling the last time he saw Peter when he dropped round a gift for his boy on the Meriden estate.
He said: “It was a shock to see Peter standing there in the doorway, especially considering I’d been looking for him all these years. It’s fantastic to be able to spend time with my brother again.”
With Leslie living at home in Abbots and Peter in Watford the brothers lived relatively close together throughout the 60 years.
Peter commented: “The strange thing is we’d both been living in Watford almost the whole time, barely a stone’s throw from each other. And it took a photo in a magazine for us to be reunited! The first time we met up again, Leslie came over to my house and then we went down to the pub and had a good old natter. As you’d imagine we had a lot to catch up on!”
Talking about the scheme which reunited the brothers, Leslie said he couldn’t be more grateful.
He said: “It has made a big, big difference. It’s so much warmer now and the house retains the heat, it helps that the external wall isn’t like a block of ice anymore!”
Photo credit: Simon Jacobs