Family photographs found in Australia reunited with daughter after Comet appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:01 16 December 2017

Margaret Clarke with the collection after its arrival back from Australia. Picture: Margaret Clarke

Margaret Clarke with the collection after its arrival back from Australia. Picture: Margaret Clarke

Archant

Family photographs, papers and news cuttings found in a removal box in Australia are back home after an appeal in the Comet.

One of the photos found in Australia, showing the sabre arch after Margaret's wedding to Dennis Clarke in Ashwell in 1965.One of the photos found in Australia, showing the sabre arch after Margaret's wedding to Dennis Clarke in Ashwell in 1965.

The collection belonged to former Ickleford pub landlord Ted Newman and his wife Betty – and was lost while they were living in Brisbane.

Australian Janet Ely found the papers and photographs – and following research by the Hervey Bay Family History Association and a Comet appeal last month, the pictures and papers have been reunited with Ted’s daughter Margaret Clarke in Sussex.

Margaret called the Comet newsroom the day after we published our two-page appeal – which featured pictures including one of her wedding day in Ashwell in August 1965.

Speaking again after the parcel arrived from Australia, Margaret said she had received pictures showing the big snow of 1962 and ’63, a school party during her time at St Francis’ College in Letchworth in 1945, and more.

She told the Comet: “I am truly delighted. I am terribly thrilled to see my childhood, teenage life and early married life in one brown bag – and what a tribute to preservation and the importance of social history.

“Your newspaper needs to be congratulated for taking this seriously and joining my early life in one part of the UK with Australia and now my home in Sussex. Thank you for being the people who acted so responsibly and promoted the quest to return this stuff to its rightful owner.”

She added: “What a tribute to the human spirit by the lady who took the trouble in taking the photos and so on to the researchers, who in turn took the trouble to investigate and make contact across the world to a local newspaper.”

Janet, who found the collection, had been told by the removal firm to just throw it away – but held onto it for years before taking it to researchers to trace its owner.

She said: “It’s so exciting to know that the owner has been located after all this time. Big thanks to Hervey Bay Family History Association.”

Association secretary Margaret Briggs added: “‘It’s wonderful news that the collection has found its way home thanks to the great detective work of our research team.”

Hervey Bay has a population of about 52,000 and is on the east coast of Australia, about 180 miles north of the Queensland state capital Brisbane.

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