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Newport history group's quest over picture pair

By Toby Neal | Newport | Features | Published:

Newport History Society is hoping to tap into memories of the town's Audley House old people's home so that it can put names to faces on two pictures that have come its way.

A grand day out at Trentham Gardens in the 1950s

One shows an outing to Trentham Gardens in the 1950s, and the other is of a staff party in 1955.

Linda Fletcher of the society said: "I obtained the images from Freeman Jones, whose grandmother Annie Oakley worked at Audley House and he, as a student, worked there in about 1960. Freeman was given the photos – they are not his – but he knows a great deal because of working there and the link with his family."

The building was originally the town's workhouse, and Linda went on: "Unfortunately all his reminiscences and other items relating to the workhouse are locked away in our archives at the moment. We are not allowed to go in and they are not digitised. This is a subject that has not been studied much at all.

An Audley House staff party in 1955

"From looking at our SNAP (Shropshire Newport Archive Photographs) images I can see that by 1950s the institution was called Audley Avenue Welfare Hostel. This included a tramps' ward, and a children's home. The main workhouse building was sold in 1995, and is now apartments.

"The infirmary was a separate building, built in 1908, to the workhouse and was retained as an old people's home. The children's home was closed at some stage, but I'm not sure when.

"It wasn't there when I moved to Newport in 1997 – just the old people's home."

Anyone who can help with further information can contact Linda at info@newporthistorysociety.org.uk

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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