Some years ago, (1993/1995), I walked into the Town Hall at Liverpool with a very broad inquiry to do with my long lost American cousins who, as far as I knew, lived in Philadelphia, USA. I was lucky enough to meet a man there, nay, a GENTLEMAN, the Lord Mayor's Butler, who listened to what I had to say and went on to inform me that perhaps he could help me trace them. He made no promises, nor gave any idea that the City Council was a reuniting service but he said that he felt that the Lord Mayor would be interested to know about my effort to trace them, coming from Liverpool in the late 1800's as they did.
To cut a long story very, very short, I was astonished, some months later, to receive a letter from the gentleman to report that he had, indeed, traced my cousins. He had found an enclave of them in Philadelphia and he immediately put me in touch with them with telephone numbers and postal addresses.
Not only that but when my cousins eventually came over to Liverpool from the United States, for the very first time and to visit me and my family here, this gentleman arranged for us all to meet in secrecy at the Town Hall, on pretext and for the Lord Mayor to casually talk to both groups, one Philadelphian, one Liverpuddlian and then for him to calmly announce that the whole thing was a spoof and that in fact, we were ALL related !!
What a wonderful occasion it was and the Lord Mayor, (I think it was Rosemary Cooper), went on to invite us all to Afternoon Tea in the Lady Mayoresses' Parlour. We were all stunned and our American cousins were so impressed.
We all felt like Royalty, we really did!
Neither myself, nor anyone present has ever forgotten the kindness of that man, the Lord Mayor's Butler, who had made that day so special for us all and who was such a wonderful Ambassador for the City of Liverpool. He was a complete toff and was dressed to match in his tail coat, black tie and winged collar. He was the consummate professional and his style and manners were impeccable.
I went into the Town Hall a week or so ago and asked for him.....hoping to see him again but I was saddened to be told he had left some years since. His post has never been filled and apparently, the Lord Mayor no longer has a Butler.
I wonder where he went what happened to him. That man who made such an impression on me and all of us that day with his wonderful arrangements and kindness. He was often in the papers with links to his work at the Town Hall. I can't imagine he would just disappear though I can't rightly say whether he himself came from Liverpool.
I'd be grateful for any news of him. He was a rare breed and I'd love to thank him once again for all that he did for us that culminated in a wonderful day.