From Australia to Harold Hill: Woman’s search for father she never met

11:58 02 May 2014

Janet Serle, left, aged 18, and Jeanette McCheyne, right, aged 16

Janet Serle, left, aged 18, and Jeanette McCheyne, right, aged 16


A woman will embark on an emotional round-the-world trip to search for her father she has never met - and who may not even know she exists.

Tracey Dean, of Queensland, Australia will celebrate her 50th birthday next year by visiting England for the first time since leaving as a three-month-old baby.

She was born in Romford in October 1965 to Jeanette McCheyne, a 16-year-old schoolgirl who met Tracey’s father, a man named Tony, in Hammersmith Palais, a London nightclub, after sneaking in with friend Janet Serle in December 1964 or January 1965.

The girls both lived in Harold Hill estate but were forbidden from contacting each other due to the scandal surrounding the pregnancy.

Tracey was raised by her grandparents in Australia believing Jean was her sister until she was told at the age of 15.

She is now hoping to track down Janet as her boyfriend at the time knew Tony, a tailor in Edgeware Road whose surname started with a D.

“I understand Tony would be in his early 70s if he is still alive,” said Tracey. “Janet’s boyfriend was friends with Tony so there is a chance he may know Jean was pregnant.

“I know this is a long shot but ever since I discovered my grandparents were not my parents not a day goes by that I haven’t wanted to know who my real father is.

“It caused a lot of pain and suffering in the family. This journey is not an easy one, and has opened up a can of worms and emotions as I have been seeking information from my family.”

Jean, who now lives in Western Australia, went to Harrowfield Secondary Modern School in Settle Road, Harold Hill and Janet attended Quarles Secondary Modern School in the nearby Tring Gardens.

Tracey’s friend Jessica Putt said: “Any information will be amazing. Everyone deserves to know who their parents are.”

Do you have any information that could help Tracey in her search? Email or call 020 8477 3810.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

A woman was tied up in a burglary

A mother-of-two feared for her life as masked burglars forced their way into the family home and tied her up while her young children played in the living room.

22 minutes ago
Two fire engines attended a house fire at an address in Park Lane, Hornchurch on Wednesday evening and a man was rushed to hopistal where he was treated for smoke inhalation

A man was rushed to hospital for smoke inhalation after firefighters were called at a flat in Hornchurch on Wednesday evening.

53 minutes ago
Boys born in Cranham will live healthily for 17 years longer than those in Harold Hill

New statistics show the inequality in expectations for our children

Yesterday, 16:30
Last night's full council meeting saw decisions being made on the release of £83million to build new affordable homes and the expansion of at least five primary schools

Councillors have agreed to release £83million to provide affordable housing in the borough, expand at least five primary schools to ease the shortage of school places and pledged to ensure more work opportunities for adults with autism in last night’s full council meeting.

Yesterday, 14:27
Police were called at 12.58pm in the proximity of the Brewery shopping centre in Romford

Trains stopped going through Romford station after police reported a suspicious vehicle in proximity of The Brewery.

Yesterday, 07:00
File photo dated 28/09/15 of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who is warning the Government's failure to invest in Britain's infrastructure is putting the future prosperity of the country at risk.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP is due to visit Havering on today to speak to young Labour members.

Yesterday, 07:00
Robert Knowles serving food platters and salt beef sandwiches at the TapRoom micropub in Upminster, which opened on Saturday

The borough’s first micropub finally opened on Saturday and welcomed its first customers with locally sourced pork pies, cheese platters and real ale.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder