TWO photographs of a couple taken in the early 20th century have left bosses at Rossendale Museum and Art Gallery scratching their heads.

The black and white portrait pictures were discovered gathering dust in St Mary’s Presbytery, in Bacup, by Ella Alcock, who attends the church in Bankside Lane.

Now she has handed them to Rossendale Museum and Art Gallery in Rawtenstall in an attempt to find out who the couple, believed to be a wealthy husband and wife from the area, were.

The pictures date from around 1905.

Museum bosses are hoping someone who recognises the man and woman, or is related to them, will contact them to help solve the century-old puzzle.

Carl Bell, managing director of The Whitaker Group, which runs the museum in Haslingden Road, said: “It would be a really nice story if somebody does recognise them and got in touch with us.

“With the time period, around 1905, I would think they could have been from one of the wealthy families in the area.

“However, around that time is when photography was becoming more affordable to people.

“People would put on their best top coat and pose for a picture looking their best, so they might not have been very wealthy.

“But they are likely to have been notaries from that time.

“Our archivist is going to be doing some asking around and researching to see if we can find out who these people were.”

The Whitaker Musuem will not put the photographs on public display until it has confirmation they have been officially donated to the gallery.

Mr Bell said: “We have cleared out our library to give us another room, and we would like to use it for items of local heritage.

“We would like to have a local archive and these might allow us to kick start that.”