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EXCLUSIVE: Hampstead couple turn detective to find mystery photographer

PUBLISHED: 11:42 22 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:03 07 September 2010

Susanna Wilkey A SLEUTH-LIKE couple from Hampstead managed to achieve the almost impossible and reunite a lost camera memory card with its globe-trotting owner. Michael Shellim and Joyce Green turned to detective work after finding the card on Hampstead

Susanna Wilkey

A SLEUTH-LIKE couple from Hampstead managed to achieve the almost impossible and reunite a lost camera memory card with its globe-trotting owner.

Michael Shellim and Joyce Green turned to detective work after finding the card on Hampstead Heath while walking their dog Molly.

It contained almost 800 images of the photographer in different places around the world but none gave any clues as to who she was or how to track her down.

But the couple, who live in Elliot Square, did not give up and after trawling through hundreds of pictures they found one of a wedding which showed the name of a venue, the Vanguard Club, and a sign saying Congratulations Mick and Anna.

After searching on Google they discovered the club was in Newtown in New South Wales in Australia and emailed the events manager of the club with the photograph.

He stepped in and 24 hours after finding the card they had an email from the owner - an Australian woman called Tamar Beck living in Tooting.

Mr Shellim, who is a member of the Hampstead Photographic Society, said: "None of the photos really gave a clue as to who she was but it was obvious there were some really sentimental pictures on the card.

"It was a whole series of about six months worth of pictures of someone in places around the world having a fantastic time at a lot of parties.

"We figured out the club and the events manager we emailed said he would forward the picture to the bride and groom.

"Then next thing we know we had an email from an Australian woman who lives in Tooting saying it was her card and she could not believe it.

"She said she had had a sleepless night worrying about losing all her pictures and was devastated.

"There was a happy ending and she was absolutely over the moon.

"We managed to track her down through real detective work because there was very little to go on."

Being a member of the Hampstead Photographic Society Mr Shellim said he knew how much the pictures would mean to the photographer.

Ms Beck, 30, said: "I lost the card when I went for a picnic on Hampstead Heath.

"It had seven months worth of precious photos from my travels in Australia and around the world.

"I was so upset I hardly slept at all but the next day when I got into work I had an email from my friend in Australia telling me what had happened.

"I could not believe it - it was absolutely amazing. It was such a random course of events but I was so excited to get my pictures back and so grateful they went to all that trouble to go through all the photos and track me down. It is absolutely brilliant.


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