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Years of remembering

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:17 07 July 2010

There's no card to send or chorus of happy birthday to sing, but Jean Newing is determined to celebrate the 50th birthday of her son, who disappeared from his Fakenham home nearly 40 years ago.

There's no card to send or chorus of happy birthday to sing, but Jean Newing is determined to celebrate the 50th birthday of her son, who disappeared from his Fakenham home nearly 40 years ago.

Steven Newing was 10 when he disappeared on September 2, 1969, just days before the end of the school summer holiday.

He would have been 50 on April 15 and to mark the milestone birthday of the son she has not seen for almost four decades, Mrs Newing and her family are to return to Fakenham for a special celebration concert on April 12 and church service on April 13 at 10.30am in the town.

Mrs Newing wants her son's birthday to be a celebration. She is giving a silver communion ciborium (chalice) inscribed with Steven's name to the church. The concert in his memory will be performed by West Norfolk Jubilee Youth Orchestra.

And Mrs Newing, who now lives in Berkshire, has invited anyone who remembers Steven or her family

to attend the church service on April 13 and a get-together she has arranged.

“I am not getting any younger and I want this event at Fakenham church to celebrate Steven's life. We have to presume that Steven is dead, because there is no other explanation about what happened to him.

“I would like to invite anyone

who knew us when we lived in Fakenham to come to the service” she said.

In 2002 Mrs Newing presented a wrought iron decorative prayer candle stand to Fakenham parish church in her son's memory and the following year a hostel for homeless teenagers was named Steven Newing House.

Fakenham rector, the Rev Adrian Bell, said the ciborium was a generous donation and would be a permanent memorial used every Sunday in church.

Former police chief inspector Ray Cordy, who was based at Fakenham at the time of Steven's disappearance, believed the boy was abducted. Another explanation for his disappearance was that he might have fallen down a disused well shaft on The Driftlands.

Mrs Newing said that not knowing what happened to her son has been the source of heartache that never goes way.

“We all miss Steven dreadfully and you can never really put your life back together.

“I was convinced when Steven first went missing that he had been abducted. It was only a few months after the disappearance of April Fabb from her home at Cromer,” she said.

To this day the whereabouts of April also remains an unsolved mystery.

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “We would always take every new opportunity to appeal for any information about his whereabouts.

“Long-term missing person files are never closed and should any new leads arise we would look at these. These cases are reviewed on a regular basis, particularly in respect of forensic opportunities.”

Tickets for the West Norfolk Jubilee Youth Orchestra concert cost £3.50 (£2 concessions) and are available at the Fakenham church door on April 12.

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