The Shirley Temple of the 1950 Falmouth Spring Flower Show has been found thanks to an appeal in The Packet.
Show organisers had wanted to trace Penny Keeping, who had presented the mayor’s wife with a bouquet at the opening of the event in 1950, and so turned to the paper to appeal for information.
Within days the little girl in the photographs had been identified as Penny Gedye who now lives in Truro. She had been called by a friend of her mother’s from Mabe and told of the article and photographs and subsequently came forward.
Copies of the photos were among items found by Penny when she cleared her mother’s house after she went into a nursing home. Her mother, Betty, had been a nurse at Falmouth Hospital and at Truro, and her father, Austin, had worked at the docks.
Sadly, her mother now suffers from dementia and so has been unable to shed any more light onto why Penny had been chosen as the flower girl back in 1950.
“I was only two-and-a-half at the time, so I don’t remember very much,” said Penny.
“My mother is the one person who could tell me, but she has turned 90 and suffers from dementia and has been for the last five years.
“My father died many years ago and he would have been the only other person who could have told me.”
As a result, Penny, now 66, does not know why she was chosen to present the bouquet to the wife of the mayor, the Rev TH Elkington, who was also president of the 1950 show.
One theory, however, is that as Penny’s parents were both involved with Falmouth Parish Church, where the Rev Elkington was vicar, she may have been chosen simply because she was the right age for a “flower girl.”
Now that Penny has been found, she has accepted an invitation to be a guest at this year’s Falmouth Spring Flower Show, which will be held at the Princess Pavilion on March 29 and 30.
The closing date for exhibitors’ entry forms is March 21 and the 2014 schedule and forms can found at www.falmouthshow.co.uk.
The photographs of Penny at the 1950 show will feature in a free exhibition of the history of the flower show which will be displayed in the foyer of the Municipal Buildings from March 13 to 29.