Coming up to this weekend of celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
💞This Blog is to remember the numerous celebrations that people all over the world have enjoyed on millions of Wedding Days over those years and beyond, people from all different walks of life, either as the Bride and Groom, relatives, friends or just acquaintances💞
💕Here are two super photos of the Queen’s wedding from the Royal website (link below photos) Princess Elizabeth as she then was, to Prince Phillip at 10.30am on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. What a spectacular cake!
💕Love these 70 facts about the wedding: https://www.royal.uk/70-facts-about-queen-and-duke-edinburghs-wedding
Although I collect a wide range of old photos with people featured, I have a special fondness for Wedding Photos and now have over a thousand. They are very varied from small square little photos from the 1940s/50s to very large Victorian card framed photos of huge groups of people wearing spectacular outfits, especially hats. A small number do have writing but the majority are unnamed.
So I am always on the lookout for any more to add to my collection. So when I noticed late last year that several lots of Wedding photos were up for sale on EBay from one seller I had to buy them. After asking about them I was really surprised when the seller messaged me back to say that “they originally came from Paul Atterbury and Hilary Kay (Antiques Roadshow) – they did a book on vintage weddings and these were some of the ones they didn’t use“. I was intrigued as we have spoken to Paul on a few occasions at a fleamarket or Antique fair. He lives in Dorset.
I searched and found a copy of the book that I was able to buy and was thrilled when I received it and found that some of the photos from my new Wedding Collection were actually featured in the book, 21 of them. The rest were wonderful too.
Here are some photos of the book, the front cover and contents. It’s a super little book and makes for a really enjoyable read with some beautiful wedding photos featured.
These are the Wedding photos that I now have and their entries in the book.
The accompanying writing with these four photos below in the book says 1) ‘Edwardian. The bride is dressed fashionably in a tailored suit and the groom in a lounge suit showing that he is either a working or middle-class man. Both have tight hold of their gloves, expensive accessories for their special day‘. 2) ‘Wedding in Wartime‘ 3) ‘Edwardian. Photographer from Walsall. Evidence that this is a well-healed wedding can be seen in the bride’s elaborate bouquet and embroidered gown and in the groom’s top hat and frock coat. Gradually frock coats were superseded and by 1920 the morning coat was established as formal dress for monied gents‘. 4) ‘1920s. The groom may have perhaps borrowed his suit from a shorter man, but his hat shows up to the minute fashion sense. Soft felt hats became popular for men in the 1920s. The trilby, which symbolized democracy and equality at this time, was often worn by men who moved in artistic or intellectual circles‘.
God Bless the Happy Pair. Splendid photo of the Happy Pair. ‘This working man and his bride have dressed appropriately for their station in life, with no signs of costly extravagance. Standing on a rug among swags of cut paper flowers and flags and beneath a handwritten sign, the couple has a fine start to their marriage’.
Written: ‘This picture above underlines the reality of the wartime wedding. The groom and the bridesmaid wear battle dress, and the bride makes do with a plain two piece and a jaunty hat. But they all look pretty cheerful. Best dressed is the couple on the left, he is in a natty suit, she in her fox fur’.
Written: ‘Although bar shoes were first worn by adults in the 1880s, it was not until the 1920s, with shorter dress lengths, that they were really visible. They proved to be good at staying put during the more energetic dances of the day. Today known as ‘Mary Janes‘.
I was thrilled to find that someone has written on the back of this beautiful wedding photo above. The happy couple is Phyllis (Howarth) and Alfred Gregson, Bolton. So of course I had to research them just a little! They married in the first quarter of 1930, registered in Bolton, Lancashire. Here is the couple on the 1939 register, Alfred is a Clerk working for the Bolton Corporation. The couple is shown at the top of the page living at 19 Thorns Road, Bolton, no children at the address and I haven’t found any born to the couple.
Alfred Gregson was born in 1901 (Although it says 1903 on the 1939 register, this doesn’t match with the records I’ve found) in Bolton, Lancashire, his father was Richard 1855-1924 and his mother was Janet Kershaw 1872-1926, it was a second marriage for them both when they wed in 1899. Alfred had many siblings and also half siblings from his parent’s first marriages, a few of them were Cotton Weavers according to the census records. Alfred died in October 1963 in the Blackpool area of Lancashire, at the age of 62.
Phyllis Mary Howarth was born on 6 October 1903, her father was Harry Howarth 1879-1951 and her mother was Bertha Wallwork. I am unable to find any records of any children. Phyllis died in July 1978 in Blackpool, Lancashire, at the age of 74. Her mother Bertha was described as a Yarn Winder in the 1911 census. It looks like Phyllis may have been an only child although there are a few possibilities of other siblings, nothing to confirm and only one child (Phyllis) stated on the 1911 census.
Link to the small family tree on Ancestry I have compiled: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/182709012/family?cfpid=262377071856
The three photos above, left to right, are written 1) The epitome of a stylish 1950s bride, wearing a modish, high collared dress of lace over satin and a chic short veil, she holds a spray of carnations trimmed with motifs of lucky horseshoes and wedding bells. She is full of confidence, a quality that does not seem to be shared by her husband. 2) 1920s This bride is wearing a diadem headdress of artificial pearls, these became stylish for weddings in the late 1920s, as did dresses with hems longer at the back than the front. The choice of hat for her little bridesmaid is also in the latest style, a bonnet in the form of a winged Dutch hat. 3) 1960s This Dutch couple look relaxed and comfortable together. Her dress is short, but high necked, a blend of modernity and tradition echoed by the groom.
These next three photos, left to right, above. 1) It is Southern Rhodesia in the 1950s, when it was under British rule, and a stylish colonial wedding is taking place in Bulawayo. There is no hint of any African influence in this photograph, the couple dancing their first waltz (written on the back of the photo) at their reception could be anywhere in the world. 2) 1930s. It was a Royal bride, Princess Marina, who in 1934 first popularized the diadem as fashionable bridal wear. It is worn to full effect here by this beaming nymphet, who clutches her lucky horseshoe. This diadem is probably made from decorated wire rather than diamonds and pearls though. 3) 1950s. Carefully posed photo with the bride, glamorous in a satin gown with a long train, meeting the viewer’s gaze only through her reflected image. Here we are allowed to witness the behind-the-scenes final adjustments to the veil by the chief bridesmaid who, unusually, is sporting a mini veil herself. This one has an American look I’m thinking?
This large group photo above is very much American. The groom’s uniform reminds me very much of the photos of Elvis Presley in his American Army uniform from the late 1950s. Written in the book it says: ‘This service wedding is being witnessed somewhat disapprovingly by the bride’s stern father in the back row. With ten bridesmaids and groomsmen, two flower girls, and a jungle of floral and palm frond arrangements, this father may be working out just how much the wedding is costing him‘.
While I was going through the images in the book and comparing them with the collection I had bought I spotted one photo (see below top left) on page 21 that I recognised, not from the collection I had just bought, but from a Blog I had written a few years ago. 2016 to be precise, what a surprise! I had bought 12 photos of one American 1950s wedding and after writing a Blog about them and asking for help where the wedding had taken place in America, I was fortunate enough to have had a lady Katie contact me via the comments on the Blog, who was able to identify the Church where it took place, it was the Emanuel Church located at 10 Lincoln Place, Irvington, New Jersey, America. This is the link to my Blog of November 2016 with comments and identification. https://lynnswaffles.com/2016/11/26/wedding-1950s-american-style/
Hope you’ll all enjoy the wedding photos I shall be sharing throughout June🌸💞
Till next time then……
WOW ! I simply love this post Lynn. No wonder your favourites are weddings. Its great to see the styles throughout time. How nice also that you began this post with The Queen and Prince Philips wedding. I hope you enjoy the celebrations for the Queens Jubilee.