Family reunited with heirloom hidden in mirror frame for years

William Thompson, left, was united with a photo of his great-grandfather Thomas by Longridge Art & Framing owner, Adam Giddins, right.
William Thompson, left, was united with a photo of his great-grandfather Thomas by Longridge Art & Framing owner, Adam Giddins, right.

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.

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

Thomas Thompson and his horse, Pink.

Thomas Thompson and 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.

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.

William with his long lost family heirloom.

William with his long lost family heirloom.

“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.”

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.”