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Readers solve photo mystery


PEOPLE on two photographs of Southwell in the 1930s and 1940s have been identified, thanks to an appeal in the Advertiser.

Mr Roger Dobson of Newark Road, Southwell, is writing a book called Southwell’s Inns And Ale Houses about the history of public houses in the town from 1600 to 1975.

He was struggling to identify people in three photographs — until they were published in the Advertiser last month.

Readers managed to identify most of the people in two of the photographs.

The main character in the photograph of hedgehog race outside the Hearty Goodfellow on Church Street, has been named as Mr William ‘Squint’ Stephenson of Easthorpe, Southwell.

Other people in the picture include members of his family.

They were identified by Mrs Linda Brown of Kirklington Road, Southwell, a relation of Mr Stephenson.

Mr Dobson said Mr Stephenson was a well-known character in the town in the 1930s.

He said: “He was called Squint Stephenson because of the fact he always had his hat at an angle.

“He organised hedgehog races outside pubs around the town and we’ve got a picture of him stopping the traffic outside the Newcastle Arms to allow the hedgehogs to cross the road.”

Mr Dobson said that although he had managed to identify most of the people in the photograph, some details remained a mystery.

He said: “There is a boy called Edwin in the picture. We don’t know his surname but we know that when he grew up he became the rent man in Southwell and I’d love to know a bit more about him.”

Another photograph shows a group of men standing outside the Saracen’s Head on King Street, Southwell, in 1940.

The group includes Mr Germain Whysall of Halam, who was related to England cricketer Mr William Wilfred Whysall of Woodborough.

Mr Dobson said Mr Whysall worked at the Rural District Council offices in Dunham House, Burgage, Southwell.

He said: “I’ve been told that at 12.29pm he would leave the district council offices and go for what he called a liquid lunch.

“Mr William Wilfred Whysall played for England on four occasions and he actually opened the batting when England played against Australia in 1925.”

Mr Whysall was identified by Mrs Eleanor Bust of The Turnpike, Halam, who recognised him as her husband’s uncle.

Mrs Bust said: “I saw the picture in the Advertiser and I recognised him from the stance and the clothing and the watch chain and cap.”

Two other men in the photograph are believed to be Mr Ted Ward and Mr Fred North who both worked with Mr Whysall at the council.

Mr Dobson is still trying to identify people in the third picture which he thinks may be of girls from the Rodney School in a room above the Admiral Rodney pub.

He said: “We’ve had no one come back on that photograph and we know that it is a school in Southwell but we’re not actually sure that it is the Rodney school so if anyone who went to the Rodney School when it was in the Rodney could come forward and tell me if it is or not that would be great.”

Mr Dobson is also hoping to identify a group of Southwell landlords in a picture taken on a trip to a brewery in 1957.

All the pictures are on display in Southwell tourism office and anyone with any information about people in the photographs should contact Mr Dobson by telephoning 01636 814539.

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