Mystery Amazon pics returned to grateful Welwyn Hatfield family

PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 August 2018

The clue that led Clare to call the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

The clue that led Clare to call the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Mia Jankowicz

A Welwyn Hatfield woman is “gobsmacked” to be reunited with precious family photos thanks to a quick-witted Amazon shopper.

Children - who will be all grown up by now - looking smart for their portrait. Picture: unknownChildren - who will be all grown up by now - looking smart for their portrait. Picture: unknown

An article in the Welwyn Hatfield Times on Saturday prompted a search for the owners of some lost photographs that had, incredibly, shown up in an Amazon delivery in Devon.

Clare Shippey had been surprised to see a bundle of pictures, dating between the 1930s to the 1980s, fall from between the pages of a second-hand book she had ordered from the ‘used’ section of the site.

Noticing that one of them “Copyright Welwyn & Hatfield Times” stamped on the back, she contacted the newspaper.

We ran an article with all the pictures online, asking for the public’s help to identify the owner - and the public came up trumps. You shared the article scores of times until one of our readers, Diana Precey from Panshanger, recognised herself as a child in one of the pictures, which turned out to belong to her late mother.

The press photo stamped with 'Copyright Welwyn & Hatfield Times. Picture: ArchantThe press photo stamped with 'Copyright Welwyn & Hatfield Times. Picture: Archant

Nail technician Diana, 57, was amazed to spot herself as a toddler, along with her siblings, in one of the photos.

She said: “It’s absolutely gobsmacking.”

But how did they end up in Devon?

Diana explained that her mother Sylvia had had dementia before she passed away in 2016..

“She hid a lot of things,” she explained, saying that it is common for some dementia sufferers to do that.

Sylvia would hide all sorts - bank cards, tea bags, and photographs - around the house.

Nonetheless, she had been “such a proud lady,” said Diana.

After Sylvia passed, Diana and her family went through and fanned open all the books before clearing her belongings.

“I must have missed that one,” she said.

Diana has written to Clare on behalf of the family to thank her for the effort she made.

Some of the photos Diana has had copies of, but others she didn’t have.

“What a lovely thing for that lady to bother to do,” she said.

“Photos, they’re precious, aren’t they.

“A lot of people wouldn’t have bothered.”

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