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Bath man claims pub photo album
6:20pm Friday 13th July 2012 in News
A ONCE-treasured photo album, abandoned for years in a room at an Old Town pub, has been reclaimed by the son of a couple shown in some of the images.
The leather-bound folder, containing intimate family shots as well as photographs taken immediately after the Second World War, was found at the Wheatsheaf, in Newport Street.
Landlord Don Keen had appealed for the rightful owner of the images, some of which date back 70 years, to reclaim the heirloom.
John Maynard, of Bath, recognised his parents Stanley and Elizabeth after the Adver’s original report was followed up in the Western Daily Press.
The black-and-white photograph from their wedding in January 1943 shows his father in a pullover, which was fashionable at the time.
John joked: “My dad’s wearing this wind-jammer thing with a zip in it which was very popular at the time.
“My mother never forgave him for that, she went on about it for the next 60 years. However it was January so it was cold.”
But the retired MoD and British Telecom worker has no idea how the album ended up at the pub, which used to double up as a busy hotel. He believes it belonged to his mother’s best friend Win Smith, whose wedding also features in the pictures.
The women, who were both nurses, were inseparable and would walk to work over bomb craters in the war years, when Bath was badly hit in the Blitz.
His mother’s long-standing friend had written on the back of one of the pictures: “These are the days I love the most. Love Win.”
Both families are from Bath, where Win and Elizabeth lived close by in the town centre.
John, 68, said: “It’s intriguing. My parents had no connections at all to Swindon.
“My suspicion is that the album belonged to Win and her husband, who I think was called Cyrille Head, and they were in Swindon for a golden wedding or similar.
“But that’s only a guess. I’m going to show the album to my auntie who is in her 90s and is one of the people who rang me to tell me my parents were in the paper. Hopefully she can shed some light on it.”
Mr Keen, who took over in December, was clearing out an upstairs room when he came across the album, which is emblazoned with hieroglyphics on the front and also includes pictures of British military officers posing on camels in front of the pyramids.
John collected the volume from the Newport street pub yesterday.
“It's certainly battered and well-travelled,” he said as he leafed through the pictures.
"Opening it up makes me think of all the questions I should have asked when my parents were alive.”