Can you help identify the mystery people in the photograph?

Who are the mystery people in the photograph?
Norman Graham is back left and his brother, Sidney is front centre, but who are the other people in the photograph, taken at Whitworth Farm in the late 1930s?

Just as the nationwide lockdown was announced, we received the photograph, above, from Alan Graham, who wondered if local residents might be able to help him identify the people who posed alongside his father and uncle for the picture, which was taken at Whitworth Farm in the late 1930s.

“My dad, Norman Graham (back left), was born at Shildon,” says Alan, who was born at Whitworth Farm, but has lived most of his life in Rotherham.

“Norman’s father,” explained Alan, “was James Nixon Graham and his mother was Matilda (also known as Tilly). My father’s siblings were Nancy and Sidney.  James, my grandfather, was a loco driver out of Ferryhill Station.

“My grandfather died when my father was quite young and Tilly remarried to Jack Gornall from Whitworth Farm, moving there with her family.

“Jack and Tilly subsequently had a son John, but Sidney (front centre in the photo) tragically died at about ten years old from scarlet fever.

“My dad worked on the farm as a driver with his stepfather until wartime came and dad joined the RAF, coming to Rotherham College for training, where he met my mother, Mary.

“They were married and moved to Spennymoor, renting a cottage at Pagebank (the cottage is still there).

“I was born at Whitworth Farm and later my younger brother David was born at Pagebank. However, my mother grew homesick and we moved back to Rotherham, but most summer holidays were spent at the farm.

“I loved Spennymoor and often went to the pictures with John Gornall before going for chips from Berryman’s Chip Van, which I have seen since at Beamish.

“I still visit John and his wife, Norma a couple of times a year, attending vintage rallies at Barnard Castle, and other venues in the region.

“I would be very interested if anyone was able to recognise the others in the picture,” said Alan.

If anyone knows who the people in the photograph are, contact us at Spennymoor News by email or Facebook Messenger and we will pass the information to Alan.


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