The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Searching for clues to mystery lady’s identity in period picture


SIR, – Maybe something lighter in these dark times?

I have been going through a small collection of photograph­s that belonged to my late aunt (Rita Watson) who was born in 1922. She was not one to retain clutter and the rest of her collection were of either family or friends. Originally I looked at this photograph only briefly, but then noticed that the lady was wearing what looked like a badge of some sort. On magnificat­ion, I wondered, but could be wildly wrong, if it were a suffragett­e emblem (their colours were purple, green and white).

A bit of research showed that the movement was very strong in Aberdeen and also the surroundin­g area and that there was a split when the city group could not agree with the later more militant actions of the movement in the south. The photograph, with a stamp of “McAdam, Photograph­er, Culter” shows the lady proudly wearing her badge in front of a typical Aberdeensh­ire farmhouse, so what was the occasion? My aunt’s family on both sides (Watson and Knowles) had farmed in the locality for many generation­s and she was born at North Rothnick and went to school at Cookney.

Maybe this is the proverbial wild goose chase, but I am intrigued now – who was this lady who must have been someone close and maybe a role model for my aunt, and where is this farmhouse?

Tony Watson, Dallachie, Fearn, Ross-shire

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