PENARTH MAN RE-UNITES LOST POSTCARDS WITH FAMILY OF RAF PILOT

Retired Penarth security officer Noel with the daughter of Penny Hann , Dr Leclaire

Retired Penarth security officer Noel Evans examines the leatherbound postcard album he rescued and preserved with the daughter of  “Penny Hann” , Dr Jessica Leclaire (Photo Wales on Line)

A Penarth man who rescued a vintage postcard album –  thrown away in a skip –  has now managed to trace the family to whom it originally belonged and returned it to them.

The album had been retrieved from the waste skip by Noel Evans (64) when he was working as a patrol officer in Llandaff, Cardiff back in 1983. It was amongst the fire-damaged contents of a  house which was being cleared.

The postcard album contained pictures sent from all over the world by an RAF pilot to his daughter Penny Hann

The postcard album contained pictures sent from all over the world by an RAF pilot to his daughter Penny Hann – at addresses in Dorset and Somerset  – but it took a BBC genealogist to find her 

Although the book was full of mounted postcards – all dating back to the 1950s –  none of the addresses on the cards were still valid . Mr Evans thought the leather-bound book was too interesting an object to be thrown away – and took care of it personally the hope that one day he would be able to return it to its original owner .

The only clue he had was that many of the cards had been sent  to someone calledPenny Hann” across the Bristol Channel, in Burnham, Somerset. It’s an unusual name, but the address was out of date.

It was BBC Wales people-tracing expert Cat Whiteaway who eventually tracked down the late Penny Hann's daughter

It was BBC Wales people-tracing expert Cat Whiteaway who eventually tracked down the late Penny Hann’s daughter

Now retired, Mr Evans had one more attempt at tracing the original owner by contacting  the BBC Wales genealogist  Cat Whiteaway.

Census information is not available for the years after  1911 and the most recent population register available is an address-by-address pre-war list of where everyone lived in 1939.

Cat had to use her knowledge of public record sources , births, marriages, deaths and telephone directories to track down “Penny Hann” .

After hours of research she found however than Penny – the daughter of an RAF WW2 pilot – had sadly died in 2013 at the age of  65 – but that she had a daughter Dr Jessica Leclaire – who lives in Oxford.

Now the vintage postcard album – with the postcards once sent to her mother – has been handed over to Jessica in Cardiff to treasure as a family heirloom.   Dr Leclaire told WalesonLine reporter Daisy Dunn  “I feel excitement, happiness and a lot of gratitude for Noel for looking after the album for all these years.”

The leather-bound album contains more than 50 postcards from all over the world and includes some cartoons and several drawings of animals  countryside landscapes.Dr Leclaire has spent her childhood in Dorset and in Paris …but  so far no one has any idea how postcards once addressed to her mother ended up in a skip in Cardiff.

 

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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2 Responses to PENARTH MAN RE-UNITES LOST POSTCARDS WITH FAMILY OF RAF PILOT

  1. Martha says:

    What a lovely man, knowing the importance of what others regarded as a piece of old tat. I’m nothing to do with the family but thank you, Noel Evans, for persevering with what’s precious all these years.

  2. penarthblog says:

    Brilliant and well done.

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