Finding the stories behind the image

By Salisbury Museum Volunteer, Alan Clarke (all photos courtesy of The Salisbury Museum).

THE Salisbury Museum image archive contains nearly two million images.
Some of these images are of sports teams. Many are of football teams; often two photographs; one for each team that has just played a match.
It is very unusual for the archive to contain a list of the names of the team members. In most cases even the final score is not recorded, let alone the highlights from the match.
But we do usually have the date, within a few days, and the team names.
Take the example here from 1951 [top right]. This image is from a scanned glass plate. The only information is that from the board, with the four cups, which says Downton Football Club.
Are there two teams here? It is probably too long ago for anyone to be able to name any of the men in the photo?
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But we had better luck with the two images on the right which were described solely by the four words “Earl Gowrie at Museum” and the date 27th April 1984.
As this is a transcription of handwriting, the spelling can often be wrong, especially concerning names.
However, in this case, putting “Earl Gowrie” into the Google search engine brings up an article in the Irish Times entitled ‘Earl of Gowrie obituary: Dublin-born Tory NI minister and arts maven’.
This 2022 obituary gives many details about Grey Gowrie.
There is an old photograph as well and it matches the person in the Salisbury Museum image archive photographs.
But I recognised the other person – none other than a young Peter Saunders, the former director of The Salisbury Museum.
Even better, on contacting Peter, he told me: “I do remember this because it was, I think, the day of Yvonne Fletcher’s funeral in the Cathedral, and Lord Gowrie had to get Mrs Thatcher’s approval to come to the museum owing to security concerns. Gowrie was Arts Minister then.”
Yvonne Fletcher was the young police officer shot and killed outside the Libyan Embassy that year.
The museum does have a number of photographs of her funeral at Salisbury Cathedral.
An important task for The Salisbury Museum image volunteers is to look at the archived images and to try to find the stories behind them.
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This information could be the names of people, what the event was, where the event was, and anything else the volunteer can determine. We then store this with the image computer file itself as metadata.
You might like to try your skill with the image at the end here [top left].
We do have some clues as this was scanned from a print, the reverse of which appears to say [bottom left]:

Allan Pritchett
B 1876 D 1934
M Calia Selby
d 1922
Shop Christmas
Photo. Artist
Summerlock Bridge Fisherton Street,

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