On March 26, 1956, Birmingham’s New Street Odeon was showing Biblical epic The Ten Commandments, a film that features the discovery of baby Moses in a basket.
In the cinema toilets that day, life imitated art when teenager Mavis Clarke was shocked to find a two-week-old baby boy in one of the cubicles, wrapped in blankets and resting on a cushion.
Mavis, on a date with her future husband, raised the alarm with an usherette and the search began for the child’s mother. But with not a single clue as to his identity no family member was ever traced.
The baby was named Robert Bruce after the first policeman on the scene and the doctor who performed health checks at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Robert was taken to Oakland’s children’s home in Droitwich. which he later described as an ”awful place”. He stayed there seven years until he was adopted by George and Irene Weston, landlords of the town’s Hop Pole Inn, finally finding some happiness
The following year the new family moved to a Worcester pub. Robert joined the Royal Navy at 16 then settled in Plymouth, where he taught English. He went on to have six children of his own through two marriages.
Irene died when Robert was 20 and George passed away in 2014, sparking Robert’s search for his real roots. In 2017, DNA mapping led Robert to his long lost siblings, and the identity of his parents.
Robert’s mother, Betty Aston, a Rugby factory worker, moved to Wales shortly after giving up her baby but died five years later from meningitis, aged 31. His father, Charlie Charmers, who had abandoned Betty while she was pregnant, died in 1997.
”I was still in the children’s home when she died,” Robert told the Worcester News. ”I always held onto hope that she was still alive.”
Robert also discovered his birth certificate, dated March 10 1956, which gave his name as Paul Kevin Aston.