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Lost camera returned with help of media

Lost camera picture of Mick and Claire Speakman with daughter Ella, nine.

Lost camera picture of Mick and Claire Speakman with daughter Ella, nine.

When an off-duty Blackpool police officer decided to test the power of social media to help trace the owners of a lost camera, they had no idea how much attention it would get.

The device containing irreplaceable family photos is now finally back in the right hands after a Twitter appeal went global.

The Speakman family lost the camera after a day out at Lytham Hall last summer and thought it was gone for good.

But earlier this year a message sent from the official Blackpool Police Twitter account went viral and within hours they had been traced.

The officer tweeted a picture of the family found on the camera, which was then shared more than 2,900 times and led to the hunt for the owners becoming one of the most talked about topics on the site.

With help from the public and staff at Lytham Hall, it soon emerged the picture showed Mick and Claire Speakman, of Preston, and nine-year-old daughter Ella.

The photo was taken by their youngest daughter, Sophie, seven.

NHS worker Mick, 49, said: “A friend showed me the tweets but at that stage I didn’t know where the camera was.

“There were pictures on there that we hadn’t backed up going back to when the girls were born.

“The staff at Lytham Hall were very helpful.

“We had a brilliant day there and they have been brilliant since.

“We had been to see a performance of Babe the Sheep-Pig by Illyria and it was great – we didn’t realise at the time we had lost the camera.”

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