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How a Kent loft clear-out unearthed picture of West Lindsey council workers

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: September 22, 2012

  • West Lindsey council chairman Councillor Jessie Milne with the 81-year-old photograph

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An 81-year-old photo featuring West Lindsey council workers is back on public view after being found in a Kent loft.

The link with the Gainsborough local authority was restored when the nephew of a pre-war council officer found the image during a clear-out.

And Ian Lambert has donated the 1931 photograph featuring his uncle Stanley Luckhurst to West Lindsey District Council.

The 'missing' piece of nostalgia now has pride of place in its Guildhall headquarters reception in Marshall's Yard.

Mr Luckhurst – first on the right on the third row of the photograph – was an assistant clerk on the old Gainsborough Urban District Council.

Forty-three years later, in 1974, it merged with Gainsborough Rural District Council, Market Rasen Urban District Council, Caistor Rural District Council and Welton Rural District Council, to form WLDC.

Originally from Whitstable in Kent, Mr Luckhurst was a local government officer before retiring to Surrey. He died aged 87 in 1996.

"I am delighted that a piece of Gainsborough history has been preserved in its rightful place and that it is causing a lot of interest at the council," said 72-year-old Mr Lambert.

Two WLDC staff have strong links to the photograph.

Florence Spicksley, on the back row, was the only woman on the U&DC photo.

And her grandson Graham Spicksley, the current electoral officer at the council, is proud that she was the first lady chairman of Gainsborough Urban District Council in 1939. He said: "It was through her that I got interested in the authority and I started work here in 1968 as a wages clerk."

Quality development officer David Halstead was interviewed for a job 53 years ago in 1959 by Edward Lionel Harvey, who is also featured.

"I can't remember too much about the interview except that I had to give him my school report, do a very simple maths test and write a couple of sentences to prove that I could write," said Mr Halstead.

"Things are much different now than they were then."

West Lindsey council chairman Councillor Jessie Milne said: "It is lovely that a piece of history has come back to the council and we can't thank Mr Lambert enough. It is always exciting to see how things used to be and how there are now many more ladies as managers and councillors."

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