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The Girl who found the Lord Mayor's Diamond
The first image below shows Eric Howlett, the Manager of Kingstanding branch.
On the right of the photograph is Mrs Sparkes who is with her youngest
daughter Betty (on the counter) and her eldest daughter Dorothy
- the Girl who found the Lord Mayor's Diamond
Whilst attending the Kingstanding gala on Saturday, June 25th 1938, Birmingham's Lord Mayor (Councillor E R Canning) lost a diamond from his chain of office. Dorothy Lily Sparkes (whose 14th Birthday was the following weekend) had been given 6d to attend the festivities, but lost it in some grass. Looking for her lost money, she found the diamond instead and took it to her home in Kilburn Grove, where she played with it, with her younger sister, Betty. Learning later that day about the missing gem, she returned to the gala and handed it to one of the police officers looking for it.
Dorothy was rewarded with an account opened at the Municipal Bank with £5; and her sister was given an account with £1. These further images from the press coverage of the time show the two girls, and their parents, at the Lord Mayor’s parlour, and Dorothy showing her new passbook to her schoolfriends.