Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton family reunites Australian relatives with lost photo

Black and white photo of three men in wedding suits Image copyright Gillian Keenan
Image caption The photo of Sid Fletcher (left), granddad William Tompkins (centre) and Reg Fletcher on his wedding day was shared on Facebook

A photo found in an Australian thrift shop has been traced back to its owner via an English family.

The black and white snap dated "1952, Luton" was found in a purse bought in Capalaba on the outskirts of Brisbane by Peter Hughes' partner Lalen.

Gillian Keenan from Luton recognised her father in the photo after it was shared with a Luton Facebook group.

The image shows Mrs Keenan's father Reginald Fletcher on his wedding day with his father-in-law and an uncle.

Mrs Keenan's father is now aged 90 and still lives in Luton.

"He was really pleased to see it and we had a trip down memory lane," she said.

His suit, he told his daughter, had been from a "50-bob tailor" in the town - about £2.50 in today's money, not taking inflation into account.

The lost picture, which belonged to Mrs Keenan's Aunt Sally, prompted her to share a more formal image of her parent's wedding to corroborate the story.

Image copyright Gillian Keenan
Image caption Partially obscured at the back on the right is Sally Hayden at her brother Reg's wedding

In the photo and partially obscured, is Sally Hayden, who moved to Australia with her husband in the months after her brother's wedding.

Recently the Haydens moved house and it is thought the purse was among several items that ended up in the thrift shop.

Mrs Keenan said although she had kept in touch with Sally Hayden, it was "wonderful" to speak to her cousin Ross for the first time as a result of finding the picture.

Image copyright Gillian Keenan
Image caption The family in 2006 from left to right, Gillian Keenan, Dennis Hayden, Doris Fletcher, Sally Hayden, Reg Fletcher and Sid Fletcher
Image copyright Peter Hughes
Image caption Lalen found the photo some months after buying the purse from a thrift store

Peter Hughes, 58, who lives in Capalaba, posted the lost photograph on Facebook after his partner Lalen discovered it having bought the purse.

He said he was "quite surprised and quite interested" by the image of the three men.

"I turned over it and saw Luton on the back and thought it must be from England," Mr Hughes said.

He put it on Facebook and someone originally from Bedfordshire added it on a group in Luton.

"It just struck a bone when I saw it. It's a real photo. Now someone's come forward from so far away, it's a really nice feeling."

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