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So I was wandering through Exeter last night, not really thinking about much, when I spot something in the mud beside a main road.

Being a little curious, I walk over and take a nose.

What I found genuinely shocked me...
Wedding photographs from long ago
Sketches from the 30s
Two entire albums of photographs from the late Victorian/early Edwardian period
Telegrams from old, old friends
Even their love letters...
The police have been contacted and there's no reports of missing items.

So what has happened is someone has come into the possession of these photos/mementos dating back over 100 years

... and dumped them at the side of a road.
There's enough names/place names to do some basic research, but these belong with family...failing that an archive of some kind.
Will Tweet as more of the story emerges...more of this couple's story emerges.

No one deserves to have rheir entire life story dumped at the side of a road...

@DevonLiveNews Could you help at all?
Update: After going through some information, I have some names.

So the man in the pictures is Paul Ascher, and the woman is his wife Elizabeth (Betty) Ascher nee Glenister.

Both are from Reading, both lived there for seemingly a long time.

How did this end up in Exeter?
The plot deepens...

Inside one of the albums is a clipping of their Marriage announcement.

Married 21st December 1963 at St. Bartholomew's Church, Reading.

The church luckily has a Wikipedia link en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Bartho…
Bit of an odd turn...

So inside the marriage announcement it mentions that Elizabeth's father, Mr. A. G. Glenister has a CBE, and is married to a woman from at-the-time British Malaya...

If you type in A. G. Glenister on Google...
He was an Author...

In 1959 he released a book on....get this, 'The Birds of the Malay Peninsular'

Perhaps he met his wife years earlier in Malaya?

You can even still find his book on Amazon!

amazon.com/Birds-Malay-Pe…
@BBCBerkshire @getreading It would be great if we could get your help as well in tracking down these people, seeing as they spent their lives in Reading
@BBCBerkshire @getreading So I've spread out as much as I can over my living room floor...

...and even then, it's probably a little less than half of what I found.

I'm happy I'd been walking with a big rucksack.
@BBCBerkshire @getreading Bear in mind, this wasnt in a carrier bag or anything.

All of these items were loose in the mud, soggy and almost ruined.

They were literally dumped onto the street
@BBCBerkshire @getreading This seems to be the most recent photo of the lot, looks like it was taken late 80s, early 90s maybe?
@BBCBerkshire @getreading For those of you who know Exeter, this is the spot I found everything. Western Way, just coming up to Vue Cinema.

@ExeterCouncil
We have our first lead!
@JenniPh has discovered a death record for Paul Ascherin Christchurch, Dorset in 1998 and later records that show Elizabeth living there until at least 2012.
For all we know, this could be how this ended up in Exeter
...maybe she moved to be closer to family/friends?
Now, this could be a funny coincidence but...

There's some documents relating to what looks like Elizabeth's grandmother, placing her in Harrow around 1916-1917.

Can you name another Glenister from Harrow?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Gl…

Could just be a funny coincidence, though...
You like mysteries @thehistoryguy? We've got a good one over here!
@thehistoryguy God, aren't these gorgeous? Dated 1953 and 1954 respectively

...had to dry these out on the radiator.
Our second big break!

@nimmom has discovered a Paul Ascher who was born on the 10 May 1925 in Pacov, South Bohemia (Czech Republic) and died in East Dorset, 1998.

The record shows a father named Leo Ascher, who passed away in 1962.
This matches perfectly with the marriage certificate (Paul's father being the 'late Mr. L. Ascher), as well as the German letters found!
@nimmom is seriously helping the hunt. He's discovered Paul's father was interned at the beginning of WWll. His address in 1939 was "Silver Birches", Forest Road, Binfield, Berkshire. Before this, he had been a butler.
@JenniPh has just found some notes online from @BNSS1 in the 1980s, listing Mr & Mrs Ascher as members - they gave a talk about walking on the Isle of Wight in 1987.

If any old members are around, as Jenni said, maybe they remember the Aschers?
@JenniPh @BNSS1 Currently going through one of the albums found.

Dated 1919, it seems to have belonged to Elizabeth's mother, a 'W. Glenister'
@JenniPh @BNSS1 We've managed to locate one of the photos.

Birling Gap, Sussex - 1919 to now
@JenniPh @BNSS1 We have a postcard sent from A. Glenister to his wife on the 9th July 1920.

We also have an address:

27 (indeterminate) Road,

St Leonard's on Sea

Sussex
Hero of today @JenniPh has found some distant relatives on Ancestry...here's hoping for a reply, maybe some more information!
@JenniPh Who is this beautiful woman?

At the moment, it seems like Elizabeth's mother, W. Glenister.

If pictures could talk...
@JenniPh No, not W. Glenister.

A.G. Glenister's wife, and illustrator of his books was an Elizabeth M. E. Glenister.

That would mean Betty was named after her mother.
@JenniPh Appreciate all the overnight interest, I'll carry on updating throughout the day today
So, with the genuinely incredible amount of interest (I barely use Twitter, so this is a bit mad), I'm going to limit the really personal aspects of the Ascher's life I post.

In the off chance there's some distant relatives alive now, I don't want to publicly dox them.
So while I'll be updating with little pieces of the puzzle, if you have any information on relatives/etc... if you could DM me instead of posting, that would be a lot more helpful
Day Two: So, for people who are just seeing this, here's a quick catchup

- The day before yesterday, on my way to my girlfriend's house in Exeter, I find a cache of wedding photos, victorian photo albums, love letters and general mementos dumped at the side of a busy road.
- I posted this on Twitter to try and see if anyone knew the couple who these belonged to, hopefully reunite the items with someone connected.

- People are now helping piece together the story of the roadside couple, and try to find relatives/friends
- Yesterday, I was a little trigger happy with personal details, trying to get someone to recognize them.

- Now that this has blown up, I'll try not to reveal any super-personal information. Only things to piece the puzzle together/actually help track someone down.
So back to the items...

These are what first caught my eye.
Stunning watercolours.
And look at the date of these...
Some are much, much older though...

I mentioned yesterday that the woman these all belonged to had somewhat famous parents...

Her father wrote a book on 'Birds of the Malay Peninsula' in 1959, and received a CBE for it.

His wife, and Elizabeth's mother was the illustrator
And here amongst the items found, we have her mother's original art, from when she was just a girl in 1916.
Look at the label too, just over a hundred years old
Stunning.
As @cocoschulp mentioned, when we went through them, a lot of the art was ripped.

Seemed almost deliberate. Clean tears straight through the middle of each one
Same here...
Update: There appears to be potential that Elizabeth (Betty) Ascher had a twin brother, who's descendants may still be alive. I will update as more comes out.
Update: Thanks to @Crunchie1416, we have information on Paul's mother, Josephine, as well as a potential living relation on his father's side (i.e. a cousin of Paul)
Cheers to @DevonLiveNews for covering this, hopefully someone will see and try to contact!

devonlive.com/news/devon-new…
Another update: I went asking around the small group of tents near the bank where the items were found.

The guys there say they haven't noticed anything, and were quite surprised to when I told them what was found.

Looks more and more like someone's just dumped and ran.
Update: Just messaged potential cousins of Paul on Facebook...

...hopefully this will be a very big lead. Thanks to @Crunchie1416 for the information!
@Crunchie1416 Happier times at St. Bartholomews...
Thanks to @HarrisHello, we now have the most recent address for Elizabeth Ascher in Christchurch, Dorset (most recent being 2010).

If anyone in that area knows or knew Elizabeth, please get in touch!
Update: I've contacted Christchurch Library in Dorset
... no records.

I've also contacted four nursing homes in Exeter in the off chance Elizabeth was there
...no records
For those messaging about just how much was found, here is the current state of my living room...
Not forgetting the art table
Luckily @cocoschulp and myself managed to have with us one of these honey bunnies

Regrettably, many things were stuffed in...
Update: So we've more or less confirmed that Elizabeth does indeed have a twin brother, born June 1932 named Michael Glenister.

If this rings a bell to anyone, please DM and we can properly search!
So, while there's trouble properly tracing Michael, we have a definite cousin to Paul! At the moment, we're just trying to contact them on Facebook...waiting for a response
While we wait, I'd like to show you a photo myself and @cocoschulp have been trying to trace.
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