Photographs spark memories for readers

RECENT photographs in the Gazette’s Those were the days section sparked memories for readers, including a former Olympian’s father.

John Backley, father of javelin thrower Steve Backley, spotted a photo of JAS Smith and Sons cleaners in Alnwick while reading a copy of last week’s Gazette during a visit to relatives.

As a young man, he worked as a painter and decorator in the North East and painted all the JAS Smith stores in the region.

He wrote: “I remember it being glorious weather and the shop being sited on a busy corner.

“We had some lovely and not so lovely comments from the locals!

“The article and picture brought back great memories of my days in Alnwick.”

In the January 20 edition, eagle-eyed reader Barbara Reed spotted her mother Clarice Ingham walking past Joan’s with her friend Mary Brittan, probably on their way to Anne’s cafe where they went every week.

“My mother has been dead since 1981 but it brought back all the memories of the past. As soon as I saw it I knew who it was,” she said.

In the same issue, Kate Sims shed some light on two of those clowning around in the picture of St Cloud students in 1986.

One of the clowns is Kenneth Cross, not a St Cloud student, but then a member of the now-defunct New Life Church in Alnwick, who became a Church of England curate.

Another is Margene Hall, who came to Alnwick from St Cloud University and who returned to Alnwick to work at the New Life Church for a time.

If our pictures spark memories, contact Ben O’Connell on 01665 602234.