A lost treasure

I’m not entirely sure whether this post is a celebration of hoarding or of clearing out. Both probably, since without the combination of the two, a lost treasure would never have come to light.

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not promising as treasure chests go

When I went to university, I took some photographs from the family photograph albums (remember those? we used to have paper pictures in paper books rather than digital pictures on screens) to remind me of home. I kept them in a little box and I looked at them when I was feeling homesick. Over the years, I looked at them less. Then, during a house-move some years later, the little box got packed away in another box and disappeared from sight. The big box moved house a couple of times and finally ended up stored in the loft Chez Snail… until two weeks ago.

One of my 17 for 2017 targets is to have three sessions sorting out some of the stuff in the loft, so I couple of weeks ago, knowing that I wanted to find some very old paperwork that I was sure was up there, I brought down a few boxes to go through. And, the little box of pictures emerged. It was lovely – some memories of my late dad, some pictures of my nieces’ and nephew’s christening… and a couple of very old ones of my parents. The first is of them cutting their wedding cake, the second of them when they got engaged. And it was the second that was so special.

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striking gold!

There weren’t many copies of this picture, but the one my mum had went astray some years ago, leaving her only with a scanned version. No one, least of all me, remembered about the one I had, but there it was, tucked away and waiting to be found. I’m not going to put it in the post – much too precious. I’ve scanned it and will take it over very soon. My mum is over the moon.

And the moral of the story? Never throw away a box, however old, without going through it first to check it isn’t full of treasure…

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25 Comments

  1. Absolutely I endorse that message, and go through every book on a books shelf. I use old photos as book marks, and my SILs Nan hid money in her books- they found Β£500 stashed away.
    Your photos are so lovely, they look so young and innocent, and so wanting to be grown up!
    What do you mean about paper photos in paper books- I still print a selection off every year and put them in albums!
    And first place my sons always go to when they come home- the photo albums!

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  2. When my mother died and my father sold the family home and moved to Spain, he threw things into a skip wholesale, impatient to get the job done. One of the boxes tossed out contained half a dozen old photo albums of my parents’ early lives together when my father lived and worked in Africa. I climbed into the skip to rescue the box and managed to salvage some of the photos. Now, he bemoans the loss of the albums, and I have restored to him the old photos and their memories, much more vivid to him these days than what happened yesterday… Never throw out photos. One day, they’ll be important to you.

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    • How lovely that you managed to retrieve some of your dad’s pictures. I can’t believe how fortunate we are that I had a copy of the engagement photograph – mum was so upset to have lost hers. Although we suspect it must be somewhere in her house, huge amounts of searching have not yielded it, so it really was a great joy to come across this copy..

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  3. What a nice rescue! I’m glad you found your pictures.

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  4. I inheritedx several photo albums from my parents and their siblings (I was the only child any of them produced) but sadly most do not have captions so I cannot be sure who the people are or what the occasion was. Memo to self – go through my own albums writing those things in!

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  5. What a happy couple your parents made – and how lovely to have re-found that memory for your mum. I can’t think of a nicer present.

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  6. My goodness, you look like your mum! A good cautionary tale. I have a load of old photos I see no sense in keeping and my eldest, a trainee hoarder, will take them off my hands to keep them out of the land fill for future archaeologists to discover…… I have received your letter and a reply is winging its way to Wales πŸ™‚

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    • When I still lived with my parents people I didn’t know would come up to me and tell me that they knew my mum we looked so alike!
      Glad the letter arrived… I’m never sure how long they will take to travel so far round the world.

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  7. These are great photos! I’ve got boxes full of pictures my grandfather had from when he was a kid and even before (plenty of people with stony expressions on their faces waiting for the photo to be captured!). This is a good reminder that I need to get them sorted.

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  8. There’s something reall wonderful about discovering, or rediscovering, old family phots’s, isn’t there?
    I’ve got a shoebox full that I keep meaning to scan onto an external hard-drive, so as to preserve a copy of them all – a winter project, I think – but I never get very far, as I get lost in the memories πŸ™‚
    I’m so glad you’ve found these pics – and can also put another cross on your list πŸ™‚

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  9. Thanks for sharing your photos with us – so touching!

    Aside from your (and your family’s) emotional attachment to the photos, they are also historically important. It’s fascinating being able to look at ways of dressing, decorating houses in the past in years to come πŸ˜„.

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  10. That’s real treasure!

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  11. Wonderful. I have just uncovered a whole pack of old photos myself, and been quite amazed at my emotional response to some of them.

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  12. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  September 13, 2017

    Nothing like coming across old photos to get those memories flowing. A lovely find.

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    • Yes, it really made me happy. I also found a photo of an old friend who I had lost touch with and it prompted me to try to find her again. I’m delighted to say I managed to track her down and we exchanged emails today for the first time in more than 15 years.

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  13. Annie

     /  September 14, 2017

    Glad you found your photos. We have photo albums still, and yes, I do still put pictures in them!

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  14. I have loads of photo albums – some from my Mum and Dad’s collection and lots from when my daughters were tiny – the digital age hit when they were about 8 years old so now most of the ones I have are online. Maybe I should start getting some of the best ones printed off. Your Mum must be delighted you had a rummage and putting that treasured photo in a frame for her is a great idea.

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  15. Old photos are the best. I inherited the few my parents had and have spent a great deal of time over the years culling through them. You were so fortunate to find so many wonderful photos. My son and I have both been scanning in the very old photos to put on disks. When we evacuated for a fire in 2002, they were the first thing that went into the car, then the hard drive from the computer. Things that can’t be replaced. That’s where you find out what’s important. Since I have no grandchildren, there is no one who will want these but for now, the kids and I will enjoy them when they visit. They make great prompts for blogs as well. πŸ™‚

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