Louth: Former couple united with missing wedding photos after almost half a century

A former husband and wife from Louth have been united with their wedding album – after it was discovered under almost half a century of dust!

Joanne Markham and Adrian 'Smiler' Hutson look through the album. (Photo: John Aron)

Joanne Markham and Adrian ‘Smiler’ Hutson got married on June 28, 1975, when they were just 17 and 20 years old respectively.

The photographer on the day was John Nihell, but due to a mix-up the pictures never ended up with the newly-weds.

Mr Nihell, from Alford, sadly died last February, but due to the coronavirus restrictions that soon followed, his family members were unable to go into the house to help sort through his belongings.

Joanne Markham and Adrian 'Smiler' Hutson look through the album. (Photo: John Aron)

However, earlier this month, Mr Nihell’s nephew, Will Stevenson, went along to the house to help clear it out and discovered the well-preserved box containing the wedding album in the attic, hidden under more than four and a half decades of dust and cobwebs.

Will decided to share one of the photographs on social media and – thanks to what he described as the “power of Facebook” and members of the Louth Community group - he was soon able to track down Joanne and Adrian and got in touch with them.

On Saturday (May 22), Will delivered the album to Joanne and Adrian, who have since divorced but remain good friends.

Together they have a daughter Toni, 45, who was particularly excited to finally have a chance to see pictures from her parents’ big day.

Joanne and Adrian on their wedding day, 28th June 1975.

Toni told the Leader: “I was completely surprised to hear the wedding album had been found after all these years.

“The excitement of looking through the photos of my mum, dad and family members looking so young, the vintage clothes, and being able to share an important piece of my family history with my two daughters is really a bit of a miracle.

“Memories are always important and I’m sure we can keep the album safe now it’s back with us.

“It’s nice that the powers of social media can be used in such a positive way so I’d also say a big thank you to Will for starting the search.”

Joanne and Adrian on their wedding day, 28th June 1975.

Earlier this week, the Leader spoke to Joanne – who said it was a ‘real shock’ to receive a message out of the blue from a stranger (Will), which asked if she ‘knew’ the people in the photographs he had attached.

Joanne told the Leader: “I first met Adrian when he was playing five-a-side football near to the youth club in Park Avenue which I attended. I lived in Louth and he lived in Burwell.”

After viewing the photos after all this time, she added: “I sadly lost two family members last year, so to be able to see them again in our old wedding photographs was both happy and sad at the same time.

“Receiving the photos after all this time was a nice surprise, especially after all the doom and gloom of the last year.

The wedding photo album had been well protected.

“I might not have been quite so bothered about getting the photos back, but my daughter Toni was excited, so I did it for her. She will keep the album, so that she can show it to my two granddaughters, aged eight and 11.”

Adrian – known as ‘Smiler’ - is a familiar face in the local area, as he has been heavily involved in local football, motor sports and golf over the years, and he has owned AP Services (Louth) Ltd for 38 years.

He said: “It was a bit of a shock, as I had never seen any of our wedding photos. ”

Adrian added the wedding ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Church, in Eastgate. The church was badly damaged in a fire in 1991, and little of the original building remains.

Elsewhere in the stash of old photographs in the attic, Will also discovered a photograph taken by his uncle at his friend Bernie Taupin’s first wedding - featuring a young Elton John as best man!

There was a familiar face - a young Elton John - amongst the other photographs discovered by Will Stevenson in his late uncle's attic earlier this morning.