Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My Dad's Football Picture Discovered - Thankful Thursday


Thanks to a local historical society, I now have the earliest photograph of my father, as a member of a winning football team in 1925-26. 

My father is on the right of the middle row, identified as Perce Weston.



In "A Pigeon Sent the News" I told how my  father John Percy Weston (1912-2003) wrote down memories of his early life in Brosely, near Ironbridge, Shropshire.


"I was mad keen on soccer, so much so that I had a trial at Birmingham with the English schoolboys. My teacher took me in his car to that and to a second trial at Shrewsbury.

One Saturday when I was working as an errand boy, two directors from Birmingham Football Club came to see Dad and Mum to sign me on - they refused, saying I was too young to be away from home. I was not told about this until later and sulked for a month!

But a bit of glory followed, when my school team entered a cup competition. I was vice-captain and we got to the final - and won the cup, the first ever for Brosely.
 
One of the supporters took a carrier pigeon along with us and set it loose at the end to let Brosely know the result and to prepare a welcome, as we were bringing home the cup! "


Apparently a photograph was taken of the team's success, but no pictures of my father's early life passed down the family. I have only one  photograph of him  prior to his meeting my mother in 1936. Family memorabilia (including Dad's church choir and football team photographs) were thrown out by his widowed sister-in-law. How sad!

Unfortunately I only had a broad indication of year for the event, which made tracing it in local newspapers difficult.    In an effort to find out more, I contacted  Shropshire Archives and Brosely Historical  Society who put my enquiry on their online newsletter.  The Archive Centre sent me background information on the school and church.  But I am delighted to say I have heard from three members of the society with more personal memories   - and even better have a photograph of the winning football team, with my father on the middle row right, identified as Perce Weston. I always thought he hated his middle name Percy, but he seemed to be known by that as a child.

This is the  earliest photograph I have of my father and I am so grateful  to the Society for filing this gap in my family history.   My father retained his love of football all his life and was an avid watcher of matches on television,  right up to his death at the age of 91. 

And an important lesson from this - don't forget the value that can be gained from contacting local societies and archive centres.
 
Thankful Thursday is one of many daily prompts from www.geneabloggers.com to encourage family historians to record their research,.

5 comments:

  1. Wasn't that a wonderful find, and all just for the asking. Great discovery.

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  2. Good reminder about contacting local societies and archives. I have done that often in the town where I grew up, but have completely neglected the towns where my dad and his siblings lived.

    Wonderful that this photo found its way to you. I always get a catch in my throat when I hear of lost or destroyed family photos. My poor grandmother mourned her lost photos for the last half of her life.

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  3. What a wonderful discovery to find this photo of your father as a youngster. Great idea to contact local organizations for photos and/or records for our ancestors.

    It's hard to understand why people dispose of photos without thinking of someone in the family who would be happy to take them. Such a shame all of your father's photos were thrown away. Imagine he'd be happy to know you've found this special photo of him as a boy.

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  4. How exciting for you!! Congratulations on this precious find!

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  5. Thank you all for your comments. I must admit I was slow to think of seeing (via Google) if there was a lcoal history society, but it has proved such a valuable contact - and one worth sharing.

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