Geography book memoirs returned to family from Tring

Drawings and scribbles by a young girl in a book from the 1880s has been traced to her surviving family in Wigginton.

Tuesday, 8th August 2017, 4:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:23 am
David Newton receives geography books traced back to his great-aunt.

The books were returned to David Newton, whose great aunt Lily Colson had left the inscriptions in two geography books.

David, 68, said: “The books belonged to my grandmother’s sister but there are drawings in there of my grandmother at about the age of 6 or 7. I was initially mystified when I got the call to say these had been found.

“It was quite remarkable seeing writing from a family member from that long ago and seeing the books they used. It symbolises a part of our family that we knew nothing about.

David Newton receives geography books traced back to his great-aunt

“I have shown it to my children and my grandchildren. It’s a way of linking many generations together.

David is a retired dairy farmer and has spent all of his life in Hertfordshire. He grew up with his grandmother living next door.

He said: “My grandmother had two cats and I remember seeing her in the sitting room with one of the cats on her chest in front of the fire. One highlight of mine was that she always kept a tin of Bourbon biscuits that she would let me take from as a child.

“I love the writing by my grandmother’s sister on the front page, it is the nicest writing that a small person could do. I have to say it is much tidier than mine ever was.

David Newton receives geography books traced back to his great-aunt

“We are going to keep one of the books and send one to my cousin in Wales.”

Lesley Handley, from Oxfordshire, found the items at a book stall and got in touch with Finders International to help reunite the books with a family member.

Danny Curran, from Finders International, said: “It is nice to do something that has sentimental value. David was very grateful and astounded that these things had made their way back to his family.

“This was the first time we had done research of this kind, finding someone from a book.”