HUGELY resourceful readers took it upon themselves to try and trace the people on last week’s mystery 1940s double wedding picture. The only clues were that it was a Northern Echo picture, so presumably taken in the North-East, and the note on the back saying: “Love from Roly and Ivy”.

John Heslop in Durham and Peter Giroux in Darlington, plus several others who wish to remain anonymous, scoured the records and discovered that the only marriage between an Ivy and a Roland concerned Ivy I Cowen and Roland M Taylor in the first quarter of 1946 in the North Durham Registration District.

On the same page in the registers – so presumably the ceremony was on the same day – was a record of Martha Cowen marrying Thomas Walls.

Martha, born 1917, and Ivy, born 1917, were the children of Edward and Ethel Cowen of Chester-le-Street, and an old picture of Chester-le-Street Methodist Church, dug out by John, shows that it once had the triangle-topped gatepost which can be seen on the wedding photo – the front of the church has recently been opened out and the gatepost removed from the foot of the stairs.

And it would seem that their father was in fact Alderman Edward Cowen, a mining union official who was so noted for his campaigns to improve mining conditions that in 2016, he was named alongside Sir Bobby Robson, Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer, Sting and Mo Mowlam as one of the first 20 local heroes to get a plaque dedicated to them on the Newcastle Quayside in the Walk of Fame.

If you can tell us anymore, we’d love to hear from you.