When photographer Alex Galmeanu bought an old camera on eBay, he certainly didn’t expect to find anything special. However, he was shocked to discover that the camera still held a roll of film, which had stayed inside, undeveloped, for 40 years. The 50-year old camera, a Balda Baldix, was bought from an online seller in Birmingham, according to My Modern Met.
However, the owner had never opened it and had no idea as to where the film might have come from. Galmeanu, an avid photographer, immediately attempted to develop the exposed film, curious to discover what it might show.
Writing on his blog, Galmeanu reported that the majority of the pictures were unsalvageable. However, he managed to recover 10 images, which were of particular interest.
To his surprise, the photos appeared to have been taken at a wedding, and evidently dated from the 1970s. They show a happy, newlywed couple and their guests, enjoying festivities at a large rural location, probably a hotel.
The family is seen posing on the steps of a large garden, smiling for the camera. Another image shows the newlyweds walking from the hotel, being scattered with confetti by exited guests.
Although there were no obvious clues as to the identity of the newly married couple, one of the photos contained the image of a car.
Using the registration, Galmeanu was able to determine that it had been registered in Edinburgh, after August 1973. Nevertheless, he was not able to track down its owners, and feared that the provenance of the car might be a red herring.
According to the BBC, the mystery of the 50-year-old wedding photos provoked a widespread search online. They were seen by the general manager of Burleigh Court Hotel, near Stroud, who came forward to explain that this hotel was where the images were taken. However, Galmeanu was still unable to discover who the people were in the images.
Incredibly, and with the help of the BBC, Galmeanu was eventually contacted by relatives of the people who were featured in the photograph. A man named Alistair Bremner explained that the blushing bride featured in the photographs was actually his sister, Kathy.
The guests at the wedding were members of his family and friends, and the mystery car had actually been owned by his father. His parents were in fact Scottish, but at the time of the wedding, the family had been living in Gloucestershire for some years.
Unfortunately the marriage was short-lived, and shortly afterwards the groom, named Pete Maloney, emigrated to Australia. Kathy now lives in Cheltenham.
Galmeanu was thrilled at the prospect of having tracked down the people in the photographs, but one missing detail still remained. According to the BBC, no one seemed to have any idea of the identity of the photographer.
Two of the photographs developed by Galmeanu were not taken at the wedding, and it is hoped that these may provide additional clues as to the mystery photographer’s identity.
These two additional photographs featured a house and garden, and a woman with three small children. Speaking to the BBC, Bremner explained that he did not recognize the individuals in the photographs that were not taken at the wedding.
He speculated that they were images of the photographer’s family, and perhaps even grandchildren, but he could not shed any light on their identity.
Galmeanu continues to wait for another lead that may provide clues about who this camera originally belonged to.
In a video posted on his blog, he stated that he is waiting for the day that he can meet the photographer, and hand them the pile of photographs that they took 40 years ago.