Couple’s old wedding photos retrieved from archives

Lindy and Chris pictured on their wedding day on July 20th 1963 

Lindy Patterson and Chris Date pictured on their wedding day on July 20th 1963 in the village church in Landbeach. - Credit: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL

A couple from California who married in Landbeach, Cambridgeshire, have had their wedding photographs retrieved after the original copies from 1963 were lost when their home was destroyed by wildfires. 

Chris Date and his wife Lindy have lived in California since the 1970s after meeting at university in Cambridge and marrying in Landbeach.

They lost their home and everything in it when wildfires swept through the state in August 2020.  

Among the possessions destroyed was their wedding photograph album featuring pictures from their reception.

Chris wondered whether the original negatives still existed and decided to make a ‘long-shot request’. 


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After contacting Cambridgeshire County Council’s libraries service, officers from the local studies team delved into the archives to check for the negatives. 

Lindy Patterson and Chris Date's wedding reception

Lindy Patterson and Chris Date's wedding reception was held in the garden of Lindy’s mother’s house in Landbeach and many of the photographs were taken there. - Credit: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL

Chris said: “Lindy and I were married on July 20th 1963 in the village church in Landbeach.

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"Lindy was from Landbeach and I met her whilst an undergraduate at Jesus College in Cambridge.

"Our wedding reception was held in the garden of Lindy’s mother’s house in Landbeach and many of the photographs were taken there. 

“The photos were taken by Lettice Ramsey and her company, Ramsey and Muspratt, was quite famous in Cambridge at the time, taking portrait pictures of many of the city’s best-known names.

"I did some online research and found that Ramsey and Muspratt had donated their negatives to the Cambridgeshire Collection in the 1980s.  

“I emailed the council's Libraries service more in hope than expectation to ask whether they still had the negatives.

"They responded quickly to say they had photos which they believed were ours and sent three for me to check.

"I was so pleased and amazed to see them.” 

Chris hasn’t told Lindy about the photos yet as he wants to surprise her. 

He added: “I'm hoping this will all be a surprise for her. A pleasant one, I hope!

"I am just so pleased to get this positive response, and so quickly, too.”  

Councillor Steve Criswell, chair of the communities and partnerships committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “At a time when many people are struggling it is heart-warming to hear stories like this.

"I would like to say a big well done to the team involved in finding these photos.

"We have a dedicated libraries and local studies team who are committed to helping the public, no matter how seemingly difficult their queries might be.” 

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