A California couple married in Landbeach, Cambridgeshire, had their wedding photos retrieved after the original copies from 1963 were lost when their home was destroyed in forest fires.
Chris Date and his wife Lindy have lived in California since the 1970s after they met at Cambridge University and married at Landbeach.
They lost their home and everything in it when forest fires swept through the state in August 2020.
Among the destroyed possessions was her wedding photo album with pictures of her reception.
Chris wondered if the original negatives were still there and decided to make a “long shot inquiry”.
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After contacting the Cambridgeshire County Council Library Service, officials from the local study team searched the archives for negatives.
Lindy Patterson and Chris Date’s wedding reception was held in the garden of Lindy’s mother house in Landbeach and many of the photos were taken there.
– Credit: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL
Chris said, “Lindy and I were married on July 20, 1963 in the village church in Landbeach.
“Lindy was from Landbeach and I met her while studying at Jesus College in Cambridge.
“Our wedding reception was in the garden of Lindy’s mother house in Landbeach, and many of the photos were taken there.
“The photos were taken by Lettice Ramsey and their company, Ramsey and Muspratt, were quite famous in Cambridge at the time, taking portraits of many of the city’s most famous names.
“I did some research online and found that Ramsey and Muspratt donated their negatives to the Cambridgeshire Collection in the 1980s.
“I emailed the council library service, hoping rather than expecting, to ask if they still had the negatives.
“They replied quickly saying they had photos they believed were ours and sent three for me to check.
“I was so pleased and amazed to see you.”
Chris has not yet told Lindy about the photos because he wants to surprise her.
He added, “I hope this will all come as a surprise to you. A pleasant one, I hope!
“I’m just very happy about this positive response and so quickly too.”
Councilor Steve Criswell, Cambridgeshire County Council chairman of the Churches and Partnerships Committee, said: “At a time when many people are struggling, it is heartwarming to hear stories like this.
“I would like to give kudos to the team involved in finding these photos.
“We have a dedicated library and local studies team who are committed to helping the public no matter how difficult their queries seem.”