Joanne finds herself amid Wolverhampton's ‘Forgotten People’

The picture was taken 47 years ago, and she was just two years old – but Joanne Smith had no problem recognising herself in our recent feature about Wolverhampton’s ‘Forgotten People’.

Joanne Smith with the picture she found of herself as part of the 'Forgotten People' photos from The Scotlands Estate. She is on there as a child with her brother and Dad: Malcolm and Henry
Joanne Smith with the picture she found of herself as part of the 'Forgotten People' photos from The Scotlands Estate. She is on there as a child with her brother and Dad: Malcolm and Henry

The Express & Star recently carried a feature about George Foster’s new book about people living on the city’s Scotlands estate when he was a student at the polytechnic in 1973.

The picture Joanne spotted herself in

George took a number of atmospheric shots of people on the estate, who he described as the Forgotten People because of the poor housing conditions they lived in.

Among them was Joanne Smith, who featured in two pictures in George’s book.

Site Manager Peter Sheard, 64, from Castlecroft. He had a surprise when he recognised himself in a book of old photos taken on the Scotlands estate

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One of them shows her sitting with her brother Malcolm on a settee outside a house on the estate. The other shows Joanne and Malcolm, who was three at the time, with their father Henry talking to friend Peter Sheard, who also recognised himself in the photograph. Joanne also recognised the picture of a First World War soldier proudly holding a picture of his regiment as her great uncle Joseph, who lived on the estate with his son James.

“I remember the picture on the settee being taken,” says Joanne, who is now 49 and lives in Boscobel Crescent, near Molineux.

Joanne and Malcolm Smith sitting on an old sofa on the Scotlands estate in 1973
Joanne's great uncle Joseph with a picture of his former regiment

While there wasn’t much money to go around, Joanne remembers the estate as being a happy place to grow up, adding: “You would go to your next-door neighbour’s all the time, it was just a friendly place. When I was a bit older I would go out with my brothers, but we were told we could only go so far. We always used to be playing out in the street.”

She remembers how her father Henry, who would have been in his early 30s at the time of the picture, would be involved in organising street parties on the estate. He worked as a polisher, but died in 1992 at the age of 51.

Joanne's great uncle Joseph with his television showing Princess Anne's wedding

Peter Sheard, who was 17 at the time the picture was taken, also recalls the estate as being a friendly place to grow up. He reckons the photograph was taken outside his family’s house in Keats Road.

He said he had fond memories of social worker Stuart Petrie, who lived next-door to them on the estate for a while.

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