The Blackberry Bush Baby“They found me tucked in quite a deep blackberry bush with my hands tied together in front of me and just a little dress on.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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One of the big news stories of the day in Britain in 1937 was the shocking tale of the Blackberry Bush Baby. A baby was found near Worthing in the south of England, seemingly abandoned in a bush, with her hands tied. That baby was Anthea Ring and she spoke to Ray D’Arcy on Wednesday afternoon. She began by telling Ray how she was found by a couple out for a walk:

“When they got to the top, which was all blackberry bushes, gorse bushes, scrubland – no trees – his wife said, there’s a baby here. He said, rubbish, there can’t be a baby here, there’s nobody here. And she said, I’ve had five children, I know what a baby sounds like.”

Sure enough, there was a nine-month-old baby tucked into a blackberry bush. Anthea was taken into care and eventually adopted. She found out by accident that she was adopted when she was 9, but when her father sat her down to confirm that she was indeed adopted, he didn’t tell her the whole truth:

“He told me a wonderful story of how I’d been found on the doorstep of Worthing Hospital, all neatly bundled up newborn and they decided to have me because they’d lost their little girl in a road accident when she was 7. So I believed all that and I thought it was wonderful to be adopted.”

Anthea didn’t find out the full truth about how she was found until she had children of her own. Her parents got a cutting from the newspaper down and showed it to her, but said she’d never find out who her biological parents are:

“You’ll never find who did it, because the charge was attempted murder and nobody ever came forward and they certainly won’t now.”

But Anthea didn’t want to give up on trying to find her birth parents. When she had grandchildren, she took up the search in earnest and, thanks to the wonders of DNA, her sleuthing took her to Ireland…

You can hear the full chat with Anthea, as well as the rest of the Ray D’Arcy Show here:

 

 

© The Listener 2018

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