History waiting to be snapped up

Descendants of those in the pictures may still be in the Yarra Ranges area.

By Peter Douglas

A Monbulk couple is hoping to find the rightful owners of photographs taken in Silvan more than 80 years ago.
After the chance discovery of an old film canister in the 1980s, underneath a then-vacant house in Haynes Street, Silvan, Ian and Margaret Ross became curious and had the film developed by their niece.
What they discovered were around 30 incredible black ‘n’ white images of a Silvan-based family, who are believed to have lived in the area in the 1930s.
The images tell the story of a close-knit family who loved their pets and the good company of friends, and – judging by their attire – could be thought of as rather stylish.
A friend of Mr Ross’ had told him he believed the photos featured a Mr and Mrs A.V. Strong and their daughter, Una.
Although, Mr Ross is unsure of the exact identity of A.V. Strong.
Now, given the age of the images, Mr Ross is embarking on a final bid to reunite the images with descendants or friends of those featured in the photographs.
“I have no use for the photographs, but I would love to see them reunited with someone who may really care for them,” he said.
“Someone may recognise the people in the photographs and family members may still be in the area.
“They must mean something to someone.
“I’m really into history, and I am intrigued by the photographs.”
Ian and Margaret Ross, who now reside in a retirement village in Monbulk, first moved to Silvan in 1955 and have never left the district.
Interestingly, they owned a general store in Silvan, with the building featuring in the background of one of the images.
The building is no longer there, though.
Mr Ross hoped the photographs may be of sentimental value to someone in the community.
“They’re incredible images and it must have been a good camera,” he said.
“And for the canister to sit under the house for 30 years before they were discovered is amazing.
“They were just children playing in the area who discovered the canister.”
Mr Ross said if anyone would like to inspect the photographs further, they could contact him on 9756 6477.