Precious memories returned to owners

Chris and David Shoesmith discover old photographs thanks to the Chorley Guardian.
Chris and David Shoesmith discover old photographs thanks to the Chorley Guardian.
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A treasure trove of precious family pictures have been reunited with their owner thanks to a Guardian appeal.

David Shoesmith, of Queensway, Leyland, was shocked when he picked up last week’s copy of the Guardian to see a collection of his family photos.

Around 30 pictures had been sent by an anonymous reader asking for help in finding their owner after they had been found in a furniture store.

Among the pictures were ones of David’s wife Doreen, who died in December last year.

David says he still has no idea how the pictures were lost.

He said: “I picked up the paper from the shelf on Wednesday and I saw a photo on the front.

“I said ‘that’s my wife’. It was one from the 1920s where she was sat with her Aunt Gladys.

“It was quite a shock really. I had so many people coming to my door and telling me they had seen the pictures. I just can’t understand how they got into a furniture store.”

The pictures included ones of David and Doreen’s wedding day, family holidays from the 60s, and ones of their six children, three of which who have now died.

The family moved into their Queensway home in 1955 and David and Doreen were married for 56 years.

David, who helps out at St James’s Church on Slater Lane, said: “We had photos coming out of our ears at one point so Doreen surprised me by taking them out of the albums and putting them onto a disc.

“That must have been when they were mislaid.

“Then when Doreen passed away my son Neil, who now lives in Australia, came over to help me sort through her things.

“That might have been when they ended up in a furniture store.”

One of the pictures was a professional portrait taken of Doreen when she was 21. David said: “That picture was just before I met her. I always liked to think she was quite glamorous.

“Doreen died of a heart embolism in December and had been ill for quite some time. It is still a bit raw yet, and I miss her a lot.”

David’s son Chris, who also lives in Leyland and works as a paramedic, said: “I went to have my hair cut on Wednesday and my barber said, ‘I knew you would come in today. Look at this’.

“He recognised the family and showed me the pictures in the paper. It was quite a shock.

“I’m glad someone found them and they have now been returned.”