Neighbour's past times gift to a little boy

Old photographs of landmarks in Shropshire have been revealed from a pre-war album.

This old picture of Boscobel House seems to have been taken by Noah Maiden, who was born around the 1860s.
This old picture of Boscobel House seems to have been taken by Noah Maiden, who was born around the 1860s.

They have been uncovered by Allan Potter of Dawley, who was given the album as a boy by an elderly neighbour who he shared a birthday with.

Noah Maiden would give Allan things like old books, and also an old photo album containing evocative photos of Tong and Boscobel House which he had most likely taken himself many years before.

Noah Maiden is far right standing next to his niece, Miss Ella Beech. Front centre is her sister Mrs Ethel Fraser. Allan does not know who the others are or where the photo was taken.

Allan has now shared that 'Snappy Snaps' album, which he says had photographs of historic interest.

He says Noah lived in retirement with his niece, Miss Ella Beech, at 2 Portley Road in Dawley in the late 1940s.

Some locations in the album, like this one, are unidentified.

Allan, who these days lives in Muxton in Telford, said: "Mr Maiden, I believe, was in his younger days a senior teacher at Market Harborough School.

"I lived in Portley Road from 1947 after my dad took up the post of sanitary inspector which was combined with flood inspection and town survey for Dawley Urban District Council. Mr Maiden and I shared our birthdays on August 17 and he often gave me old books and so on.

The album cover.

"He did give me the album to me among other things including an old pre-World War One atlas depicting the world as it was in Victorian times, which much to my annoyance was destroyed without me knowing on the grounds that 'it was out of date' – to me it was an historic record.

"When I knew Mr Maiden he must have been well into his 80s. I was about five and half years old when we moved up from Devon and we came to live in Portley Road in the spring of 1947, and now I too am preparing myself for entering octogenarianism in August next.

A lake or pond at Tong.

"I cannot recall exactly when Mr Maiden died but it was certainly before my dad, who died on February 27, 1953."

Allan says Miss Beech had a sister, Mrs Ethel Fraser, and a brother Arthur who, he believes, lived in Trench.

Tong Church has changed little over the years.

The album contains several images around Tong, an image of Boscobel House, and also photos taken somewhere else which Allan does not recognise.

"The main interest is the age of the photos and perhaps the fact that the man who I think took them was probably born in the 1860s."

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