Family reunited with heirloom hidden in mirror frame for years

When gallery owner Adam Giddins started to repair an antique oak mirror,  he had no idea he was about to find a bit of long-lost Lancashire family history.

Wednesday, 1st November 2017, 9:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:16 pm
William Thompson, left, was united with a photo of his great-grandfather Thomas by Longridge Art & Framing owner, Adam Giddins, right.

Hidden in the back of the mirror was a Victorian-era photograph of Thomas Thompson standing with his horse Pink.

Adam, who owns Longridge Art & Framing, realised it was probably once a treasured family memento and after a bit of detective work, he managed to track down Thomas’s great-grandson William, who lives in Inskip, near Preston.

It was the first time William had ever seen a picture of Thomas – and the only other photograph of Thomas’s beloved horse Pink was destroyed in a house fire 30 years ago.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Thomas Thompson and his horse, Pink.

William said: “Thomas reminds me of my father – they stand the same way.”

Adam said: “I often find hidden treasures inside old frames that are brought in for repair or reframing – usually old newspapers, notes from the original framer, or occasionally, pieces of artwork or photographs left inside frames that have been repurposed.

“After a bit of detective work, I tracked down the great grandson of the pictured gentleman, William Thompson, who still lives in Inskip.

“It’s a lovely story with a happy ending.”

William with his long lost family heirloom.

After being informed by Adam, the mirror’s owner Margaret Cookson was more than happy to give the photo back to the Thompson family.

Margaret, from Longridge, said: “I had absolutely no idea the photo was there.

“When Adam discovered Mr Thompson lived in the area there was no doubt in my mind about giving it back. It was back where it belonged.”

William said: “It’s now hanging at the bottom of my stairs so I see it every day.”

Thomas Thompson and his horse, Pink.
William with his long lost family heirloom.