When Julia Rhodes removed an old photo of her brother, little did she know she would stumble across another image of a young Hastings man, almost 70 years old.

The previously-hidden photograph has left Rhodes and Knowledge Bank Hawke's Bay looking for clues.

The photo is of the young man wearing what looks to be a brand-new armed forces uniform.

It was only found when Rhodes went to scan the photo of her brother, Philip Bridge. Philip is believed to be aged about three or four in the photo, which means it would have been taken in about 1950.

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Unframing this photo of Philip Bridge believed to have been taken in the 50s revealed the photo of a young unnamed man. Photo / Supplied
Unframing this photo of Philip Bridge believed to have been taken in the 50s revealed the photo of a young unnamed man. Photo / Supplied

Rhodes, who was born in Hastings but now lives in Whitianga, believes the mystery photograph must have been taken in Hawke's Bay to have landed up behind that of her brother.

The photo of her brother, Philip Bridge was taken by local photographers Lovell Smith Photography and framed by Ellis and Dingle, but there is no photographer's name on the photo of the young man.

The thinking is that the photo of the young man was not claimed and so the framers used it as a backing board for the photo of Philip.

Rhodes hopes someone will see a very strong family resemblance, which could lead to finding out who the chap is.

She visits Knowledge Bank whenever she is in Hawke's Bay, researching information on her families, the Johnsons and the Bridges. She has donated family films of events and day-to-day happenings in Hawke's Bay that are being readied for publication on the Knowledge Bank website.

Hawke's Bay Digital Trust Archives chairman Peter Dunkerley says the collection continues to grow, preserving local history for the future. "When you see the footage from the 40s and 50s, it is really amazing how much our society has changed in less than 100 years. Imagine how our grandchildren are going to be thrilled to be able to see how their great-great-grandparents lived."

Dunkerley urged residents to think of the Knowledge Bank when going through old records and photos.

"Our reason for being is to make sure we preserve the stories and photos of the events, people, celebrations, tragedies and day-to-day life that helped form the culture and landscape of the Bay we know today."

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If you see a strong family resemblance in the mystery photo, email the information to admin@knowledgebank.org.nz.