One step closer to model identity

John Smedley nightwear pic from the last 1930s
John Smedley nightwear pic from the last 1930s

New leads have emerged in the quest to identify a model who was photographed over 80 years ago.

Following the Mercury’s article which appeared in the February 2 issue, two people have now been in touch with possible identifications of the mystery woman.

Daphne Spencer, of Aldercar, believes the photograph pictures Lina Turner.

She said: “My mum used to work with Lina at Smedley’s and I remember her visiting us when I was a little girl.”

The 70-year-old has recently spent time ‘rummaging’ through her deceased father’s belongings in the hope of unearthing more photographs.

Unfortunately, no new pictures have been found, but she has discov ered that Lina had a husband and two daughter’s and has provided an address in Bonsall where the family lived.

Jane Middleton-Smith, John Smedley archivist, said: “It would be great if we could make contact with a family member.”

“Although it’s unlikely they will be at the same address, I am going to write a letter anyway.”

Offering another potential lead on the identity of the model is Fred Pell who suspects the photograph is of Irene Briddon and taken around 1938-39.

Fred said: “My auntie worked at John Smedley at the time and was a Day Girl working in the ironing house.”

“She used to take outwear up to the department where Irene worked.”

Apparently, when Irene wasn’t modelling, she worked as a cutter for the clothing company.

Jane Middleton-Smith, said: “It’s a shame that Fred and Daphne didn’t both give the same name really.”

Jane remains undeterred, though, and is arranging to meet with the Pell family next week.

She said: “I would really love to find out who the model is and maybe see some more photo’s.”

John Smedley Ltd began trading in 1784 and claims to be the longest running factory manufacturer.

The company remains open and their range of designer knitwear is sold in shops and boutiques across 30 different countries.

If you have any information that might help staff at John Smedley Ltd identify the mystery woman contact or call 01629 762130.