A WOMAN abandoned as a baby on the steps of a health centre has made a desperate plea for her ‘real’ parents to get in touch.
Arlene Creed was aged between one and three months old when she was left in a yellow carrycot on January 16, 1967.
She was discovered wrapped in a brown green and yellow striped blanket together with a bottle, baby food, nappies, talc and spare clothes in Darwen.
Nurses gave the dark-haired chubby-cheeked baby the name Dawn Blackburn, after the town and borough where she was left on the cold winter’s evening.
It was not until she was adopted at the age of three that she was given the name Arlene.
The mother-of-two, of Waterfoot, who has never known her real birthday, said she had been tormented with never knowing the truth about her long lost family who she was desperate to get in touch with.
The former pupil of St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High School, in Blackburn, said she had always wanted to know more about her past.
Arlene, whose birth certificate simply says she was born ‘on or about 7 December 1966’, said: “I have tried and tried to find my birth parents, but kept coming to a dead end.
“I think East Lancashire is where the secret lies.”
Arlene made front page news in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph when she was found.
Cuttings from the time say she was ‘well-nourished’ and ‘warmly wrapped’, but that there was no clue to the ‘Darwen mystery baby’s’ identity.
The article continued: “A telephone call from a man who would not give his name and address informed the police about 9.30pm that the baby was on the steps.
“About an hour later, another anonymous male caller wanted to know if the baby had been collected.”
Police at the time said they were anxious to hear from anybody who knew of the baby’s identity, but nobody came forward.
Arlene, who has worked as a nurse across East Lancashire for 30 years, said she believed the man who called the Union Street health centre was her father and that she was desperate to get in touch with him.
She said: “In my head, he is my dad because whoever it was, phoned twice, so it is somebody who cared for me and wanted me to be found.
“It is quite comforting to know they did care. I think they might have been in a desperate situation and did not know what to do.
“It was not that they wanted to get rid of me.”
After leaving school, Arlene studied at Salford University to become a nurse. She now has two children Liam, 27, and Shannon, 11.
She said she had spent her whole life searching for information about her family and had managed to track down her birth certificate last year.
But she was distraught to find no information about her parents, who she believes would be in their 70s now.
Her adoption brokedown when she was 15 and she said she went to live with her adoptive grandmother who died two years later.
Documents kept at the police headquarters in Hutton were destroyed by fire and Arlene’s GP records from before she was 15 were all lost leaving her feeling like there was a ‘conspiracy’ against her finding the truth.
The Rossendale Raft Foundation volunteer said part of the reason the hunt to find out about her family had become so desperate was because of a bone condition her children suffer from, which doctors believe could be hereditary.
She said: “I have not had a family for so long and my kids have no grandparents, so it would just mean the world to find them.
“If I did meet them and it did not work out, it would not be a problem.
“I just want questions answering. I do not blame them for what happened.
“It is getting late, but there is a chance my parents could still be alive. I could have nursed my mum or a member of my family, I just do not know.
“It is a bit like now or never. I do not want to get older and wish I had done more.
“When my daughter was born, she looked quite a bit like me and I want to know who I look like.”
Arlene, who believes she may have Irish roots because of her blue eyes, pale complexion and freckles, appealed for anybody who could help to get in touch.
She said: “It is exciting, but it is also very scary.
“It happened 47 years ago and people’s memories go, but somebody must know something. They must.
“I just want to fit all the puzzle pieces together.”
Do you have any information about Arlene’s birth parents? If so, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org