Can you help solve police chief photo puzzler?

Robert Carruthers.
Robert Carruthers.

An old photograph of a former South Shields police chief has got a family history researcher puzzled.

So she is calling on readers to help provide her with some answers.

Pictured left to right, South Shields Lions  Colin Keogh, Dr Ravi Mehta, president, Howard Ashman, Peter Geddes, and Tatton l'Anson.

Pictured left to right, South Shields Lions Colin Keogh, Dr Ravi Mehta, president, Howard Ashman, Peter Geddes, and Tatton l'Anson.

Julia Brewis discovered the picture of her grandfather Robert Carruthers while compiling her family ancestry tree.

The photo, which shows Mr Carruthers in his police uniform, was taken by the Shields Gazette in the 1960s, presumably for inclusion in the paper, but she doesn’t know why.

And despite further research, she has yet to find a reason for the picture being taken.

Although Mr Carruthers was born in Berwickshire, he joined the South Shields police force just before the start of the Second World War.

During his service here, he rose through the ranks to become the town’s Chief Superintendant.

Mr Carruthers moved to Newcastle in the early 1970s after retiring from the force, and died in 1993.

His photo is now part of Julia’s family history project, but with a question mark against it.

“I have been trying to find out why the picture was taken by the Shields Gazette,” explains Julia, who lives in Newcastle.

“But I have no idea why. I think it may have been taken when he was promoted to Chief Superintendant, but that’s just a guess.

“I would really like to know for certain.”

So if anyone can help Julia with her research, they should ring her on 07505206665.

Meanwhile, Sonja Metcalfe is also looking for help with her family research.

In particular she is seeking information about her grandad Charles Edward Field, who may have a connection with Tyneside, though she doesn’t know if it is South Shields or North Shields.

“My grandad was born in Newcastle on April 22, 1881/2. His parents were George and Annie Field.

“He was a fisherman, and in the First World War served in the Royal Naval Reserves.

“In 1918 he married Ethel Bolger /Boulger (an Irish name) I think in West Derby, Liverpool.

“Hardly anything is known about him or Ethel as my dad and uncle were put into care in Hull at a very young age.

“However, I have just discovered a brother, George Edward Field, who was born in Fleetwood in 1921.

“Being a fishing family, they moved about, but they have a connection to Grimsby,

“In 1939 George pops up living in a boarding house at No 2 Clive Street, but I don’t know if that was South Shields or North Shields (there are Clive Streets both side of the river).

“I have a death certificate for Charles Edward Fields from 1954 which states he died on May 22 at Holmlands, which sound like a care home, and the funeral was arranged by F L Edwardson, who I think is also connected to the family.”

So again, if you can help, please get in touch.

Finally, the recent publication of a picture of a group of South Shields Lions, dressed as convicts, has prompted Mrs Linda Gaddes to get in touch.

One of those pictured in 1981 was her husband, Peter, who along with his fellow Lions was raising money in aid of a toy library for handicapped children.

Mrs Gaddes, who named most of those in the photo, said: “My husband joined the Lions in 1981 and was the president of the South Shields Lions for a year.”

“He was very active with the organisation.

“The wives also did their own fundraising. They were good times.”