Antique photos of local family reunited with owners a year after discovery in Bacup

Date published: 13 December 2017

A suitcase containing hundreds of antique photos of a local family discovered in Bacup has been reunited with its rightful owner.

The case was discovered on a street in Bacup last year by PCSO Chris Hamer, who had appealed several times to trace the family to no avail. Amongst the vintage photographs was a small decorated tin containing more photographs, plus a colourful pocket map of Rochdale - almost 100 years old.

A couple of letters appeared amongst the nostalgia, naming Mr Leslie H Hamer and Mrs J Hamer from Rochdale. During his attempts to reunite the priceless collection, PCSO Hamer discovered Leslie was born in Rochdale in 1922 and married Jessie Barraclough in 1945. In retirement, they moved to Abergele, Clwy. Leslie died in 2009 and the obituary was in the Daily Post (distributed in Llandudno).

PSCO Hamer, who covers Bacup, Britannia, Weir, Sharneyford and Stacksteads, initially believed the photographs were possibly stolen.

However, after one final appeal by the PCSO to reunite the photos in time for Christmas, Shauna Hamer-Pieper, the late couple’s great-granddaughter, stepped forward.

The suitcase had been lost whilst moving with Shauna fearing four generations of memories had gone forever.

She said: “This belonged to my great-grandparents - I can not believe Chris found this. I just can not believe it.”

Shauna lives in Whitworth with her grandmother, who was married to her great grandmother’s son Jeff, who died before she was born.

PSCO Hamer said: "Four generations of memories returned to their family. Thank you for your help to find its way home."

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