An Australian museum wants to return a historic book back to Maldon – but needs your help.
After the Second World War, when fresh food supplies were low, the Maldon district community in Australia sent three tonnes of fresh apples to the Essex town’s primary schools, from 1945.
As a thank you, seven Maldon primary schools sent a large book to the community in 1949, called the Apple Book.
Composed by Maldon County Primary School on Wantz Road, the two-by-two foot book contained photos of pupils along with touching thank you notes, artwork and descriptions of British life, for the Australian community to read.
However, even though the Apple Book has been stored and maintained at Maldon District Museum in Victoria, Australia, it has become damaged over the years, with the pupil’s names becoming detached from their photos.
The museum is calling for your help to match names to faces, before the Apple Book is returned to Maldon’s Museum in the Park.
Retired Great Totham Primary School headteacher, Keith Bannister, discovered the Apple Book on a visit to Australia in 2014, and promised to help restore the relic.
Mr Bannister, of Wentworth Meadows, said: “We happened upon it by chance when we visited the museum as part of a trip to see the Ashes.
"A historian at the museum explained the book had become damaged over the years, that they wanted to restore it then return it.
“But the children’s names had become separated from the photographs.
"I said I would help to find out who the people are because the book, albeit damaged, is beautiful and an important part of the town’s history.”
He added that if anyone recognises anyone in the photos they can email him on email@example.com.