Can you solve the mystery of this family picture?

Mantle family photo.
Mantle family photo.
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The photo may be a bit grainy, but one reader is hoping it will help her find out more about two of the people on it – and perhaps even track them down.

The picture was sent to the Gazette’s editor, Joy Yates, by Vicky Mantle (nee Narbrough) who lives in Shropshire.

Vicky wrote: “Please find attached a picture taken in approximately 1961 in South Shields, I believe.

“I am trying to find out who two of the people in the photo are.

“The gentleman in glasses is, I believe, named Ruben and his wife is the lady on the right of the photo.

“The man at the back is my dad, Harry Narbrough, who would have been 100 years old in April. The lady on the left in glasses was my mum Florrie.

“I am the little girl, Vicky, then four.

“There was some connection between Ruben and my dad from the second World War, but I am unsure what. Ruben may have been a German national.”

Vicky asks if we can answer the questions “do you know these people?” and “where are they now?”

So, if you do, please get in touch with me and we will try to solve the mystery.

Meanwhile, the recent series of old photos of Frederick Street, in South Shields, prompted George Spour to get in touch with a wonderful story regrading his father, who was also called George.

Mr Spour junior writes: “My father was a window cleaner who covered most of the area that included a lot of the shops in Frederick Street.

“One day he was cleaning windows at the bottom end, beside Halls, when a lady told him that her front door had slammed shut and locked her out.

“However, luckily for her, her window was open and she offered him five shillings to climb up into her flat using his ladder and open the door (south Palmerston Street, I think it was) for her, to which he did.

“He declined the five shillings and went back to cleaning his windows.

“Two days later he was at the top end of the street, up his ladder, when someone started kicking his ladder and shouted to him to come down.

“Yes,you guessed it, it was a policeman who asked my dad if he had climbed through the window, to which he asked what the problem was as he was only helping her out?

“To his shock, the policeman told him the lady had left her husband a month earlier, and that when he got back home from work, he found that she had emptied the said property!

“Thankfully nothing came of it that I know of.”

Mr Spour jnr goes on to reveal that his father lived at 27 South Frederick Street, above Moore’s grocery store, opposite Halls shoe shop, and was one of 11 children.

“That was him walking across New Green Street in an earlier edition you published. Being a window cleaner he was, of course, the one carrying a ladder!”

Being a window cleaner, you must see lots of sights and hear lots of tales. If you used to be a window cleaner, what are the funny or unusual stories that spring to mind? Please get in touch with your window cleaning memories.

Talking of Frederick Street, a lot of you who took to Facebook to talk about Frederick Street, mentioned Olsen’s pet shop, and, in particular, an “evil” parrot and monkey that used to reside there.

Mark Shotton, a former employee, says he remembers them both, saying: “Yeah, but not when George had the monkey.

“He had Michael the parrot when I worked there but someone broke in and pinched all his parrots and the macaw parrot Michael.

“George is a lovely guy, and he always looked after the animals when I worked there.”

So the parrot was called Michael, goodness knows what the monkey was called.

There’s a one down the road called H’Angus, a football club mascot. Can you guess where he hangs out?