Ron Onions started life in a rented house in North London. By time he was 38 he was living in an apartment in Manhattan working as the first BBC News Organiser in New York.
He took his family with him including Lulu who was disabled from birth.
When customs officials detained Louise on the dock in November 1967, he argued for her admission based on the cultural significance of his new post.
And, to cheer up his wife he sang ‘You Can Bring Pearl, She’s a Darn Nice Girl, But Don’t Bring Lulu’.
This is their story.
Sarah Onions followed in her father’s footsteps and began her journalistic career at Essex Radio.
Once she had a family, she trained to teach Media Studies.
She wrote a textbook called Teaching Radio News in 2005 but turned to a more personal theme with ‘Don’t Bring Lulu’.
Sarah wrote with her father Ron and, with the help of Doris who had preserved family keepsakes.
The three of them relived exciting times in Manhattan with the BBC and the later success of commercial radio in Britain. And they wrote the story of the child that never grew – Louise Onions.
Doris Onions trained as a speech and drama lecturer in her 20’s in the days before mature students were heard of.
But the birth of Lulu who was born without a thyroid gland and with brain damage changed the course of Doris’ life.
However, married to a successful journalist she was able to travel the world accompanied by both of her daughters Lulu and elder daughter, Sarah.
Doris maintained her strong interest in speech and wrote reports for Woman’s Hour and the then Radio Brighton.
But she never gave up on caring for Louise – the child that never grew.