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Les Haydock of Thornton who recognised  a photograph of his mother in The Gazette in a feature about Blackpool at War.

Les Haydock of Thornton who recognised a photograph of his mother in The Gazette in a feature about Blackpool at War.

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Reader Les Haydock, of Thornton, got quite a surprise when he opened his copy of The Gazette to read a feature on Blackpool At War – to see a photo of his mum and aunt.

The feature was about author John Ellis and his book which documented the pivotal role the Fylde coast played in the conflict which led to the downfall of Adolf Hitler.

Civil servants from London arriving at North Station , Blackpool, in January 1940, from Gazette archives

Civil servants from London arriving at North Station , Blackpool, in January 1940, from Gazette archives

Among the photos, from The Gazette archives, which appeared alongside the piece, was one of civil servants from London, arriving at North Station, in January 1940.

It was one this photo, Mr Haydock spotted his mother – then known as Joan Hadley and her sister Edith.

They had been moved to Blackpool as part of the war effort, from Acton in London.

It was while in Blackpool, Joan met her husband John, a fireman. The couple married in 1943, at St Andrews Parish Church, in Cleveleys.

Joan can be seen in the photo, when she was 19 or 20.

She would often tell Mr Haydock – himself now a grandfather-of-two – how she preferred the daily commute to work on the Fylde coast. In London, it would have taken her 40 minutes to get to work every day on the tube, but here she could ride her bike to work and arrive in 10 minutes.

Mr Haydock’s wife Joan said: “It was Les’ aunty we spotted first on the photo and then when we looked at it, he said ‘and there’s my mum’.

“We couldn’t believe it when we saw the paper.

“We always read The Gazette and look through to see if there’s anyone we recognise in the nostalgia’s sections, but you don’t really expect to see anyone you know.

“So it was a real surprise to see Les’ mum and aunty.

“She sadly passed away only 12 months ago, she was 92.”