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Photographs reunite three generations at Earsham church

Relatives of Olive Bullen gather at Earsham Church Hall to view hundreds of old family photographs sent to them by Jimmy Bruce , who inherited them from his late aunt Olive Bullen.
Brian Bullen.

Relatives of Olive Bullen gather at Earsham Church Hall to view hundreds of old family photographs sent to them by Jimmy Bruce , who inherited them from his late aunt Olive Bullen. Brian Bullen.

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It is said that a picture paints a thousand words - but a collection of photographs spanning decades can be even more meaningful.

Relatives of Olive Bullen gather at Earsham Church Hall to view hundreds of old family photographs sent to them by Jimmy Bruce , who inherited them from his late aunt Olive Bullen.Relatives of Olive Bullen gather at Earsham Church Hall to view hundreds of old family photographs sent to them by Jimmy Bruce , who inherited them from his late aunt Olive Bullen.

Now, three generations of one family have been brought together after hundreds of photographs were bequeathed by the late Olive Bullen, who was born in Earsham, near Bungay.

Jimmy Bruce, from Arbroath, Angus in Scotland, inherited them from Mrs Bullen, who was his aunt.

Mr Bruce wanted to trace the people in the pictures and pass on all 645 of them to other family members.

The Beccles and Bungay Journal published some of them and Brian Bullen, another of Mrs Bullen’s nephews, contacted the paper. In a bid to reunite the family, Mr Bullen booked the church hall, next to All Saints Church in Earsham - where his aunt was married in 1950 - and put all the photos on display for the extended family to see.

Mr Bullen, 72, said: “It is great that all these people here are looking at photos of themselves from years ago which they did not know existed. The idea was that people would take the photos home for their own families to keep.

“It’s fantastic that all but two people of our family, that we know about, were able to come. “I really hope now we are able to keep in touch and get together more often.”

Allan Bullen, 64, from Earsham, said: “I’ve found a picture of me which I can’t even remember being taken.”

Olive was married to Mr Bruce’s uncle David Sturrock, from Lethum, Angus. Mr Bruce was granted power of attorney to his aunt’s estate when she died in 1996, aged 78. Olive Bullen was born in Earsham on April 23, 1918. Photographs from the wedding day showed the newlyweds and bridal party leaving the church along with family members, bridesmaids and a page boy, now known to be Gordon Bullen.

Mr Bruce said: “Other than Olive’s mother, who stayed the latter part of her life with Olive and Dave in Letham, I did not know any of her relatives, although I did meet some of them when they visited Letham.

“Since appearing in the newspaper I have spoken to Brian and been in touch with six other family members.

“I’ve had these photographs for 19 years now, just lying here, so it is fantastic to finally be able to pass them on.”

Another photograph shows Olive and David Sturrock at a celebration for their silver wedding anniversary.

Are you holding a special family event? Email george.ryan@archant.co.uk

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