An old man finds his lost photo album thanks to Facebook

Oli Lansley is a 34-year-old from London, England. Like many Londoners he enjoys strolling through flea markets and shopping for antiques. One day he discovered a vintage leather armchair and knew he had to have it. He bought it on the spot and took it home.

While dusting off the furniture Oli found out that his new chair was hiding a surprise. Underneath the cushion there was an old photo album full of pictures dating back to the 60s and 70s. As Oli leafed through the pages he could see a man’s life unfolding before his eyes. It was a treasure trove of memories and emotional moments and Oli knew he had to get it back to its owner.

Unable to find any names in the album that would help to identify the owner, Oli wasn’t sure how he could find this person. But then he had a very modern idea. He took to Facebook and posted this: “Ok Facebook — time to earn your keep…I have a challenge for you…” and included a few photos from the album. The post received almost 37,000 shares and for a while it seemed as though all of London was on the hunt for this mystery man. 48 hours later Oli was contacted by Hollie Douglas who had seen the photos on Twitter. She recognized the man in the photo: it was her father, Noel Douglas!

Noel had lost the album a long time ago while moving house. But the good news was that he still lived in London and he and Oli arranged to meet the next day. Noel had lost all hope of ever finding the album and was thrilled to have it back after all those years:

"I am really excited. I have never been able to show my daughter a picture of her grandmother before as she died before Hollie was born. It’s fantastic. I thought I would never see those photos again.”

In this age of digital media it is easy to forget that there was a time that precious memories were kept in albums that could be held in our hands and, unfortunately, lost. It’s good to know that there are people like Oli out there who understand how valuable a family photo album is for the people whose lives it chronicles. Thanks to him, Hollie Douglas has now seen her grandmother’s face and her father has regained an important piece of his life.


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