|Charlie Paton, outside his wireless shop in Belfast|
Or so I thought... I am just back from a visit to Manchester to visit my mother, currently in hospital for a treatment - and she has just told me, out of the blue, that she actually met him in 1971, myself in tow. We were living in Scotland at the time, and she had returned home to see my aunt Sheila following my christening in Helensburgh, who had then taken her down to Donaghadee, along with my infant self, to see him. So it turns out, 13 years after I first started researching my family tree, that I now learn that I did in fact meet one of the ancestors I have always wanted to know more about.
I have met one of my grandfathers, but what I know of him now still comes from a pile of documents and recollections of others. I have heard the voice of another from an echo on a few sheets of papers from half a century before, but in a conversation to someone else.
But what I wouldn't give to trade all those documents for a ten minute chat with either of them today.