Are you related?

Catherine Doyle, whose photo found its way to Canada.
Catherine Doyle, whose photo found its way to Canada.

This is long-distance photo sharing indeed.

But is there a recipient?

Charlie was photographed by Hamilton's in Ocean Road.

Charlie was photographed by Hamilton's in Ocean Road.

This charming picture of a lass called Catherine Doyle has come to me from a reader in Cleadon, Lynda Jackson, who hopes readers can help it find its rightful home.

The photo belongs to a cousin of hers in Canada. It was given to her mother in 1939. Says Lynda: “She would dearly love to pass the original to a member of the family.”

Catherine ‘Cathy’ Doyle was born in South Shields, around September 1919. Her father’s name was George John Doyle, and her mother’s maiden name may have been Smith.

“We think she married Frederick J Dike in 1946,” says Lynda.

“Cathy was a good friend of my aunt, Florence Hunter, who emigrated to British Columbia at the end of the war.

“The photo was taken when Cathy was 20 years old. My cousin, Carol, feels that it would be lovely for Cathy’s family to see such a lovely photo and would post it to any of her descendants if they still live locally.”

If any family member would like the picture, let me know and I’ll pass on contact details.

The picture is in the tradition that we’ve talked about recently, of sending signed pictures of yourself to friends and family, in an era when photographs were precious things to have and not always cheap.

Another example would be the other picture here, which comes from Kevin Blair and is of a chap we know only as Charlie.

Charlie who? That’s the question. All that’s known is that the picture is dated 1923 and was taken by Hamilton’s studio in Ocean Road in Shields.

But doesn’t he cut a dashing figure, who you can well imagine listening to the Charleston on a wind-up gramophone (it was one of the hits of 1923, as was, if you’re interested, Yes, We Have No Bananas), or going to see Buster Keaton or one of Cecil B DeMille’s epics at places like the Grand Electric Cinema, just a few yards from Hamilton’s studio and where Keaton appeared on screen that spring.

Yes, Charlie here could be a figure straight out of the Jazz Age. I wonder if anyone recognises him?