Mystery purse found on site of old school

Peter Jones with his findings
Peter Jones with his findings

A WIGAN butcher is appealing for help in tracking down the owner of a purse hidden for nearly 40 years at the site of a former school.

Window specialists working on the former Hesketh Fletcher High School in Atherton uncovered the leather purse stashed between a pane of glass and its frame.

They handed it in to nearby Market Street Butchers in the hope that former pupils could recognise the owner.

The purse contained passport photographs, a bus ticket and a packet of cigarettes and a match.

Peter Jones, owner of the butchers, said: “The photos are in good condition and I think someone will recognise the girls in them. I think it must have been stashed away and then maybe forgotten about.

“I left school at a similar time in the 70s and lots of kids smoked and hid cigarettes at school. Perhaps they were hiding them from a teacher.”

The bus ticket gives the date as 1975 and one of the photos has been marked with “Trip to Southport” on the back.

Hesketh Fletcher closed in 2011 but the site is now being partially redeveloped for the Atherton Community School due to open its doors to pupils this September.

Andy Smith of Burnley based Stewart Fersina glazing company, who found the purse, said: “We have found items before working on sites like this but nothing going as far back as the 1970s.

“We handed it in at the butchers because we go there for our sandwiches every day and thought with them being a local business they would have more chance of tracking people down.

“There could be an interesting back story to it.”

Anyone who recognises the people in the pictures or has information about the purse can visit Peter Jones at Market Street Butchers in Atherton.