Family reunited with precious baby photos found during Deepdene clean-up

claire and jessieA Southampton woman has been reunited with valuable photos and footage of her daughter taken in 2011, when she was about one year old, after their family camera was found during a litter pick at Deepdene, and an appeal to trace the owner was launched on


Deepdene was getting a spruce up by a group of volunteers assembled by local MP Royston Smith as part of ‘Great British Spring Clean’ on March 5, when local resident John Hunt found the Vivitar camera


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Unsurprisingly, the camera was a write-off, but when John later examined the memory card, around 150 family photos and videos appeared from the past – including shots of a little girl with her mum and various other family members.


Thousands saw the appeal to find the owner of the photos on and on Facebook, and eventually the owner, Claire Fry, who lives on the other side of Southampton, was tagged by people who recognised her from a sample of pictures that were posted.

claire and jessie
Claire Fry with daughter Jessie - one of the photos found at Deepdene

We’re pleased to report that Claire finally received her memory card on Tuesday (March 21; there was an earlier missed delivery), and told she was “over the moon” to have the pictures back.

“It’s wonderful. Really wonderful. … Love the photos and didn’t know I’d lost them!”

Special days

She said the pictures were of “special days I spent with my daughter”, whose name is Jessie and who will be seven in July. Claire is now planning a trip down memory lane and looking forward to showing the pictures to Jessie.

But she’s still not quite sure how the camera ended up at Deepdene: “My daughter’s dad lived in Bitterne Triangle… they used to go into the park quite a lot, so I don’t know whether or not she’d taken it with her one day, and dropped it… to be honest I have no idea how it ended up there.

'I just thought the camera was in the toy box...'

“She often used to take it out. It was a camera that, in her head, she used to pretend to take photos with. She never used the camera. She just used to pretend to use the camera, if that makes sense, so I don’t know if she had taken it out, dropped it… maybe someone found it and put it in a bush. I have no idea!”

Claire said she was “in complete shock” when her camera and photos first appeared on her Facebook feed and she was tagged by friends.

facebook screen grab

“I was absolutely blown over. It was something I hadn’t thought of for quite some time. I just thought [the camera] was in the toy box at her dad’s, basically, up until that point!”

She added: “Thanks to everyone who found it. It’s quite overwhelming that people do things like [litter picks], I didn’t realise that.”

Previously: Can you help reunite family with their photos?

Thanks to John Hunt for his co-operation on this piece - and efforts returning the pictures.

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