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Lost Romance story dating back to 1968

UK-USA-UK-USA (1968)

A Lost Love Romance story dates back to 1968. Find someone in England. Featuring John who is our researcher at: https://friendsreconnected.co.uk/ & lost friend finder. Here he reminisces about a person who was once very much part of his life during the l960s. A person whom he fondly remembers by the name of Maureen. We have deliberately made no references to her real surname here. Reason being we have to consider her current family and any children and/or grandchildren. None of them would possibly have any inkling of this part of her life.  We feel it’s not our place to go plastering names off the internet.

Below are 2 x images of John back in the 1970s.

John standing by the pool; photo back in the 1970s John with a child near the plane; photo back in the 1970s

John met Maureen in 1968 in his home town of Luton. She was an Ex-pat revisiting from the USA and was also from Luton. She was on an extended two-month return home holiday visit. They first met at a well-known local dance hall in Dunstable, named the California Ball Room (see link below) Located very near to Luton. Incidentally, to put things into perspective John was age 22, and Maureen was age 20.

Over the years the California dance hall became famous worldwide, ironically hosting a multitude of international and renowned artists, who regularly performed there >> http://www.california-ballroom.info/hello.htm

Advert for Clyde McPhatter and Jimi Hendrix Concert in California Ballroom.

After their first encounter, Maureen then spent most of her entire holiday together with John. John took her on many trips including his favourite seaside location: Clacton Upon Sea, Essex.

Clacton on Sea Pier, Essex

https://www.haven.com/things-to-do/essex/things-to-do-in-clacton-on-sea Although Clacton is much maligned to this day it’s one of John’s favourite resorts.

John also recalls they had a lovely two-day stay in the beautiful New Forest location https://www.thenewforest.co.uk/explore/wildlife-and-nature/ponies/  They stayed at a lovely guest house with gardens full of free-roaming ponies.

New Forest PoniesThe Three Locks Pub

Another venue they frequented quite often was a charming and delightful pub located on the river near Leighton Buzzard,  Its name was the Three Locks. Situated alongside a river it was a major waterway. John and Maureen would often sit outside enjoying a beer and watching the barges go by. Absolute bliss. Here below is an image showing the Three Locks Pub and the river. John and Maureen would often sit outside watching the barges trundle by.

The Three Locks Pub and The River

Eventually, on Maureen’s day of departure, John naturally offered to drive her to Heathrow Airport. But due to heavy traffic congestion, they were running late. This was the most amazing part: John decided to call (public call box of course)

the airport and explained they were running late. To his astonishment, he was connected to the captain of the aeroplane who agreed to wait for Maureen. Imagine today a Boeing 707 just waiting for Maureen.

Plane (Boeing 707) waiting for Maureen to take her home to the USA

Upon arrival, there was not even time for a brief departure kiss. She just rushed into the terminal building waiving a brief goodbye. That sadly was the last time they ever saw each other.

They had agreed beforehand to at least keep in touch. But, sadly, as is so often the case it didn’t happen. Apart from anything else both parents moved house and consequently current addresses were lost. So, for all intents and purposes, they lost touch with each other forever. Notwithstanding any of that as John openly admits naturally, and not even intentionally, we move on. She was lost to him 4000 miles away and never to be seen again.

BUT…..around the year 2000, John admitted he had an overwhelming desire to reconnect again with Maureen. Although now of course as an old friend and platonic.

However, although he had retained that old address for her back in Detroit (it was from 1968) and he knew that she was no longer residing there! What he planned to do was write to whoever were the current occupants in the hope they might pass a letter onward. That was, of course, if they knew her current address. As expected sadly that went nowhere.

Not exactly an encouraging start. Moreover, with only a common Christian name, a slightly less-known surname and more than 300 million people living in the USA-what chance? Talk about a needle in a haystack!

In addition, unless she had remained single her surname would of course change along the way.

Anyway, without boring you with all the details of various hurdles and barriers to circumvent along the way, after more than one year and many hundreds of hours spent combing through the Internet, he finally had an encouraging breakthrough.

He identified a lady with the same Christian name (Maureen) with a hyphenated surname where the second part was her actual maiden surname) giving a glimmer of hope. Although not over-optimistic as it was just one person amongst 300 million in the United States with the same name, although with a hyphen added.

he followed it up even though it still seemed a billion-to-one chance of a breakthrough. Well, staggering and at the same time pleasantly surprised, it turned out to be his long-lost Maureen. Everyone was really ecstatic that with over 300 million people to sift through John had done it. From thereon, things only got better. when she answered John’s email confirming it was, in fact, his Maureen. and they reconnected, The reconnection occurred around 2013. They were regularly pinging emails back and forth mainly reminiscing about the times they spent together and what about all the  “IF”. John says maybe I should have tried harder to persuade her to stay.

That aside it was wonderful to learn she had met a really nice and decent man and they had a good life together raising a family. However not sure exactly when but he had passed away. Since then John and Maureen continued to exchange email and Facebook messages, and John reminded her of so many good times she had half forgotten about during her childhood as a kid in Luton. As a result, she reconnected her fondness for Luton Town Football Club.

John did say that as the years rolled by he found himself not always answering Maureen as promptly as he might. his reasoning was he did not want to encroach on the bereavement process of losing her husband. Also slightly blase and reassured as he knew she would be there. Not to mention he was unwell for some time. it worked both ways as she often did not answer for some time.

Anyway in June 2023 John having received no reply from n email back in March decided to investigate further. What he discovered, devastatingly, was that Maureen had recently passed away. Of course John himself being age 77 admits it is not altogether surprising and realistically death has to be confronted. But nevertheless, it is still very painful and all we are left with are these fading memories. Right now he has nothing more to say about it. Ah yes, he said I can say in footballer parlance he feels gutted.

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