Can you solve the great Rugby photo mystery?

Is this a young Rupert Brooke?
Is this a young Rupert Brooke?

Mystery surrounds two old framed pictures unearthed at Age Concern’s Re-use shop at Hunters Lane.

They were discovered at the shop at Rugby Recycling Centre, which has furniture, household items, old records and pictures.

This photograph is named 'His first footer'

This photograph is named 'His first footer'

Part time worker Sharon Wormald took a couple of pictures for the ‘Past and Present Memories of Rugby and District’ Facebook page.

They were spotted by author and researcher John Frearson, who thought they may have been taken by one of the Speight family of photographers and that may be one of the pictures could be of Rupert Brooke.

John’s research showed that they were of interest, and the Age Concern shop generously allowed the photographs to be ‘re-homed’.

John said: “The first photograph is a mounted oval portrait of a young man taken by Birmingham photographer ‘Jack Ashworth and Co., Nelson Passage, Bull Ring, Birmingham’. The firm was active over 100 years ago in 1913, but there seemed to be little other information.”

The Birmingham Museum and the new Birmingham Library were contacted.

Jim Ranahan, archivist (Photographic Collections) at the Library of Birmingham, was very happy to accept the photograph, and said: “I am aware of the company, but have not been able to identify any examples of its work, so this print would make a welcome addition to our collections.”

The second photograph was a large portrait of a small boy with a rugby ball entitled ‘His first footer’. With its Rugby connections, it was shown to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

Do you have any information about the origins of these photos? Call John Frearson on 07976 577723 or email if you can help.