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Elderly couple reunited with lost wedding photo after it was found at charity shop

A devoted couple have been reunited with a sepia-tinted wedding snap from 1965 after unwittingly donating it to charity.

John Lawes, 83, and wife Margaret, 80, lost the image after it fell into a book before they handed it over to an RSPCA shop.

The couple feared the precious image of them standing by their chauffeur-driven car was gone for good when it vanished during a house move.

But the couple were stunned when a relative spotted it on a Facebook appeal after it was unearthed in the charity shop three years later.

Now – just days before celebrating their 57th anniversary on August 5 – they have been reunited with the picture.

The couple’s eldest daughter Esther Greenwood, 55, said: “It was amazing to see a photo of my mum and dad that I don’t recall ever seeing before.

“Dad was always giving things to charities but even he has no idea how the photo ended up there.

“They look so dapper and so happy together.

“We think the picture somehow slipped inside the pages of a book and then dad must have taken it to the charity shop.

“They took a load of things to the charity shop when they moved into a bungalow three years ago so it must have been lost then.

“We found out the picture had been found when my aunt who was at the wedding saw it on Facebook.

“The RSPCA were appealing for people to come forward if they knew the couple so they could reunite them with it.

“After we claimed it the RSPCA posted it back to mum and dad and it has arrived just in time for their anniversary which is lovely timing.”

The photo was taken on August 5, 1965, after the couple tied the knot at Queensgrove Methodist Church in Northampton.

The picture shows the couple touching their heads together which their family say is a romantic gesture they still do today.

John, who was a teacher at the time, and Margaret, a nurse, went on to have four children and eight grandchildren.

They also travelled to Nigeria as missionaries at the height of the civil war in 1967 with John teaching at a school and Margaret working in a hospital.

Their family say the snap, on a cardboard frame, must have slipped inside a book which John then unknowingly donated to the charity.

The image turned up at the RSPCA’s new Retro Rooms and Boutique shop in Wellingborough, Northants.

Assistant manager Viktoria Brice found it while sorting through donated items and posted the picture on Facebook.

She said: “In my heart I felt this photo shouldn’t be in a charity shop and I wondered if I could find the owners – and then the magic happened.

“Within a day it had been recognised.”

John said: “We can’t thank Viktoria enough for finding our photograph.

“We’re both thrilled to be reunited with the picture and it’s lovely to reminisce about our very special day.”