The recent photos of local Boy Scouts prompted Phil Crowell to get in touch.
He writes: “Hi Peter, a while ago I contacted you when you were asking about the festival at Gypsies Green featuring Marble Index.
“Now you ask about the scout photographs in the Gazette, and the link is that both John Winfield, of Marble Index, and I are in the front row of the 15th (St Peter’s) photo.
“John is second from the left, with me next to him, third from left.
“I have that photo somewhere, and I’m pretty sure that my mother had the foresight to write everybody’s name on the back.
“If I can dig it out and find out anything more I’ll let you know.
“The tall lad, far right on the back row, is Christopher Brown, whose dad was Arthur, of Arthur Brown’s Motorcycles, of Fowler Street.”
Another reader to contact me is Captain Armstrong Hedgcock, who writes: “Hi Peter, just came across your writing on an old sextant,
“I was looking up mine on the ‘net, as I have always wanted to know the history.
“I bought mine as a first-trip third mate with BP Tankers in 1955 at C.L. Linsley, in South Shields, in 1955, for 10 guineas.
“I used it for many years until I was mate and then had a more updated Plath.
“There must have been a few made by Linsley, as their name is engraved on the vernier arc.”
Capt Armstrong offered to discuss the matter with Des McLindon, who originally raised the subject, so if Des would like to get in touch, I’ll pass on the email address to him.
“My sextant sits on its box in my den as a show piece,” added Capt Armstrong.
Meanwhile, Rona Bojke has got in touch to say: “Hello Peter, how strange but lovely to see this photograph (shown inset below).
“Especially as my son Greg has just got through his Gold Award and been advised his presentation date at St James Palace is in November.
“I completed my Gold in 1976 and can honestly say it was the best experience and grounding for life anyone can have.
“De La Salle was a life-saver for many youths back then, and all praise and credit goes to Miss Pat Folland, who has devoted her life to giving children a chance to become responsible young adults.”
Rona Bojke (nee Thompson) is pictured back row, third from the left.
Finally, you may remember the article about the Bianchi’s family (which has roots in South Tyneside) reunion.
Well, Gareth Wheeler, a sixth-generation Bianchi from Manchester, who undertook much of the research and organisation for the event, got back in touch with me to let me know how it went.
“Newcastle upon Tyne saw one of its biggest-ever family reunions,” explains Gareth
“More than 130 gathered at the Great Northern Museum: Hancock to remember their common ancestor, Carlo Bianchi.
“Born around 1790 in Como, northern Italy, Carlo arrived in Newcastle in 1815.
“With 17 children and 66 grandchildren, his family spread quickly throughout the United Kingdom and many of the old British colonies.
“This year, for the first time, Carlo’s descendants came together.
“While many still live in the North East, others travelled from as far away as Thailand and Hong Kong.
“It was a great day, old friendships were rekindled and new contacts made, often with cousins we never knew existed.
“The place was full of smiling faces and touching moments as we celebrated our family bonds.”
If you have a news-worthy family reunion coming up then please get in touch.
As ever, I’d love to hear from you.