Hidden History

Out treasure hunting I am always on
the lookout for old picture frames I can upcycle into
chalk or pin
boards.  Sometime ago I came across this pretty one ata bootsale.  I
wasn’t too impressed with the naive little painting but was drawn to the

This weekend whilst looking through my stash of frames I selected it to use on a project.  First job, remove the back.

Its clear that this is old, looking at the wood and the nails.  Curiously the nails were set at an angle which enabled me to “turn” rather than having to remove them to get the back off.

Piece of old brown paper, nothing unusual in that.

Removing the brown paper, what looks like the back of a photograph.  Ohh Exciting !  Can you see the newspaper peaking out of the bottom left corner ? 

OH WOW!  Look at this little bundle.

Look at the pig cut out of newspaper !  An old photograph, a letter, 2 more newspaper cuttings, a card and an evensong Christmas eve service card.

I absolutely love it when I find treasure like this.  Many times when I am treasure hunting at bootsales or recycling centres I come across lots of very personal family history items.  It always makes me really sad that they end their days amongst piles of plastic rubbish,usually thrown away with house clearances etc.  All that family life, discarded.  I have a collection of photographs and small personal pieces I have been unable to throw away.

Are these Mr Howell’s Grand Parents Stanley and Bessia Spuele  as mentioned in the letter ?

A cutting about the man who painted the picture the Bishop R Westall.


I think I’ll do a little research and see what else I can find out about the Bishop, Mr Howell and his grandparents.



  1. Molly and the Princess
    May 26, 2014 / 10:28 am

    Oh my goodness, what a find! Amazing 🙂

    • karen jones
      May 26, 2014 / 11:25 am

      Was a real surprise Molly, especially to read it was (apparently) painted by the Bishop of Exeter ! xx

  2. City Coastal Life & Style
    May 26, 2014 / 10:32 am

    I think the painting is rather gorgeous, I would have that up in my house, I love little watercolours. Great find, makes me sad too when I see bundles of photos, my grandmother passed on family photos to me years, go glad she did.

    • karen jones
      May 26, 2014 / 11:27 am

      Not so keen on the painting but now it has all that history inside it, I certainly appreciate it more. You are so lucky to have a family history in photographs. Our family history only goes back to my Mum x

  3. Mostly Yummy
    May 27, 2014 / 8:58 pm

    Oooh I love this so much! Such an amazing little find 🙂

    • karen jones
      May 29, 2014 / 7:56 am

      Me too Sarah. Imagine the chap putting it all behind there and wondering who, in the future would find it. Bit like planting a time capsule in the garden.

  4. TheBoyandMe
    June 1, 2014 / 12:41 am

    That's an amazing find, I wonder if you'll be able to find relatives to pass it all on to?

    • karen jones
      June 2, 2014 / 5:20 pm

      I've spent a little time on google but not found anything so far. Might need a trip to a local library or somewhere that holds local records.

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