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Can you help solve this Houghton-le-Spring mystery? because canny Bernard Gilpin is in knots over it!

Can your memory help solve this mystery?


Dear Paul, Having recently looked at your website I thought I would write to see if you may be able to help me. My parents are from Houghton - well nearly. Mum, Marjorie Edger, was born and raised in New Herrington (Fenton Terrace) and Dad, Robert Chisholm (known as Bob), in West Rainton.

The reason I am writing is to find out if you know the whereabouts of a photographer - 'J Hunter', Houghton 17a Newbottle Street (this is now a takeaway, opposite-left of SuperDrug).

The reason I am looking is that this year marks my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary-they were married on 1st August 1959. Their wedding was at St Aidens and the photographer was J Hunter of Houghton Le Spring. Their wedding album was destroyed some years ago in a house fire. All that is left are 11 small proof pictures which I have. I would dearly love to be able to to replace the album by either getting hold of the negatives or being able to reproduce and dub the wording off the proofs I have.

Do you have any information about this photographer which may help? Any help or information would be most appreciated. I have attached a picture of Mum and Dad on their wedding day - their friends Gladys and Gordon Graham kindly sent me this picture recently.

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind regards

Julie Knight (nee Chisholm)

Marjorie Edger marries Bob Chisholm in August 1959

J Hunter, Photographer, 17A Newbottle Street, Houghton le Spring

According to local man Alan Vickers: "'J Hunter Photographer 17A Newbottle Street Houghton-le-Spring Co Durham' My wife says that his premises were above a 'wet fish shop' called 'Sangsters'. She says that he had closed down by about 1960 or 1961. Our son was born in June 1961 and Mr Hunter was not there when we had huis photo taken in early 1962 as we had to gt to Clem Humphrey in Sunderland to have it taken."

According to local lady Virginia Gatherer: "Hunter's Photographic Studio was located upstairs on Newbottle Street. It closed down at least 20/30 years ago. Mr Hunter was apparently a very nice man, and if he is alive now, he'll be well into his 90's. I know little more about him."

If you think you can help with this mystery, please get in touch by clicking HERE.


Article and research by Paul Lanagan, local historian

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PAGE UPDATED: 27/08/2010