A 110-year-old family photograph has been reclaimed by its rightful owner – almost two years since it was handed into the Mail office.
Sharp-eyed George Newbury, from the Park Road area of Hartlepool, contacted the Mail in June 2009 after spotting this historic picture lying in Elwick Road, Hartlepool, opposite the Elwick Grange nursing home.
He had seen the picture, which features a woman and a young boy and had the words “Lillian Smith (nee Parr)” and “Uncle Sid” written on the back, on May 19.
Now the rightful owner of the picture has come forward – 21 months since an appeal appeared in the Mail.
The photograph belongs to Margaret Stacey, who revealed the people pictured are her grandmother Lily Smith and the child, who was possibly aged two at the time, was her son and Margaret’s uncle Joseph Smith, who was born in 1899.
Margaret, a health visitor who is married to David, a former Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court usher who was in the RAF for 29 years, said she owns a copy of the photograph, but had given the other picture to her daughter and it is possible it may have been lost during a house move.
Margaret, 64, of the town’s Brook Estate, has now been reunited with the picture, which she inherited when her father died in 1996.
She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have the picture back.
“I couldn’t work out where it had gone and I still don’t really know how it got into the road.
“I heard about it a couple of months back when someone mentioned they had seen my grandmother in the Mail.
“It was a real family heirloom and actually part of a set.
“I’d like to thank Mr Newbury for handing it in.”
Margaret’s father was called John Smith, and he and Sidney had a sister, called Lily. Her father was born in the town’s Pelham Street, off Chester Road in 1907, two years after his sister.
Margaret’s mother, Lilian had a sister called Eva, and it was her grandson, who she just knows as Mr Hall, who contacted her about seeing the picture.
Lilian was born in Swansea in Wales, and her family moved around the country for various jobs in steelworks and ended up in Hartlepool.
Margaret’s husband Joseph was a ship rigger at Hartlepool’s steelworks. Lilian died in 1964, when Margaret was 16.
Margaret’s uncle Joseph, the boy in the picture, served in the First World War, but got sent home.
He had lived in Perth Street but moved to High Hesleden, where he and his wife Agnes ran The Ship Inn.
Mr Newbury, who originally handed the picture in, said: “That’s brilliant news.
“I am into family history myself and thought the picture was too good to leave lying there.”