In search of the source of my family (click link to read full article)
By Katharine Norbury published in The Guardian Online
Extracted from “The Fish Ladder”, published by Bloomsbury on 12 February 2015
The Great Train Robber unmasked: The Irish man was the mole.
0ver 50 years after the most notorious heist in British history an unassuming Irishman with an uneasy conscience has been revealed as the crucial mole. A new documentary opens in October in British cinemas which claims that Belfast-born Patrick McKenna, a nondescript post office employee in Manchester, masterminded the Great Train Robbery in cahoots with Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards and Gordon Goody. The film is ‘A Tale Of Two Thieves’, and the source of the claim is 84-year-old Goody, now an ill man living out his final years in Spain.
McKenna died with just £3,000 to his name. But Goody insists that, in the wake of the robbery, he handed over some £135,000 in two holdalls and a mailbag to McKenna at their final meeting. The Irishman put the loot, worth several million at today’s values, in the boot of a grey Austin car and made a clean escape from the biggest robbery in British history. But Patrick McKenna seemingly couldn’t escape his own guilty conscience. At this point in the tale, we’re relying mostly on speculation from Gordon Goody, along with the findings of the celebrity people-tracer, Ariel Bruce, who delved into the available details of McKenna’s past.
Irish Independent, 5th October 2014 (click link to read full article)
Ariel has been closely involved in the current series of ITV’s Long Lost Family, as well as all the previous series. The first episode of the current series was aired on Monday 13th July 2014 with a feature article published in the Daily Telegraph entitled “The Heartbreak Kids”. The article points out that quite often people searching for family or friends will have been looking on and off for years. When asked the question, how can ITV be so confident that the team can hunt down lost relatives when the searchers have tried so many avenues the response is: “The short answer is it managed to get Ariel Bruce on board. An independent social worker, Bruce specialised in post-adoption services for 23 years. With a success rate of 95%, you might say she is the Agatha Christie of the adoption world”.
Daily Telegraph, July 13th 2014 (click link to read full article)
At the turn of the millennium Ariel was again interviewed by The Times, this time by writer Maeve Haran, who’s book ‘Baby Come Back’ touches on adoption issues and the search for a long lost birth mother.
In 1994 ‘The Big Issue’ interviewed Ariel as part of an article relating to the ride of private investigators. The piece made the cover of the issue and was widely well received.
Caroline Phillips dedicated her Evening Standard column to Ariel after a successful search involving the journalist Kate Adie. The full article can be read here – Click Link
In 1988, Italian newspaper ‘La Stampa’ ran a full page article about Ariel and her work after she came to their attention during an Italian search she was working on.
The Sunday Times ran a piece on Ariel in 1986 that focused on a lost generation of babies conceived and adopted during the Second World War. These adults began to search out their birth parents, and turned to Ariel for help.
The Times also ran a large article on Ariel Bruce in the mid 1980s, a time when many who were adopted during World War two began to search for their real parents. Ariel was very popular in the press at this time (see above).
Please click on the links in bold above to see the relevant article or webpage.