This morning my darling wife and I were married by Mr. Dibben [Rev. J. Valentine Dibben] and now we have come to Bowness-on-Windermere for our honeymoon. We feel so strange, as though we are different people, self-conscious, full still of the excitement of the day, but now suddenly alone and tired and unable to take it all in.
The Service was at 10.45am, but Peter was late arriving. When he had not come to Circular Road by 10.15am, I asked Geoff to be Best Man if need be, but Peter arrived just in time, and Stanley Hewitt was waiting at the Church door to take a photograph of us. Inside, John Winrow had set up his tape-recorder and was operating it, unseen, from inside the pulpit.
The Church was full, so many of our friends were there, and the day was simply perfect, the sun shining from a clear blue sky. Rosemary and Clarice & Julia were bridesmaids; and Geoff, Mick and Ron were ushers. Mr. Lile played the organ. When he struck up with the Bridal March from Wagner’s Lohengrin the atmosphere was electric. From the Communion rail, with Peter at my side, I turned to watch Freda coming up the aisle on the arm of Uncle Les, and Dad signalled to me to turn and face the front!
Freda looked most beautiful in the gorgeous low-cut dress (which of course I had not seen — she chose it with Auntie Doris on a visit to Cheltenham), and a veil (lent her by Edna Friday) held in place by a coronet of pearls (lent by Maureen Davis).
Mr. Dibben welcomed the congregation, then we sang Thou God of truth and love (MHB No. 716, tune St. Godric), Mr. Dibben led us in prayer, and then came the marriage service when we made our vows. We sang O perfect love (No. 777) then Mr. Dibben read 1 Corinthians 13 and gave the address. The last hymn was The Lord’s my Shepherd (No. 50, tune Crimond), then Freda and I knelt at the Communion rail to receive Holy Communion. This was followed by the Blessing, after which we adjourned to the vestry to sign the register. We came back into the Church, Freda on my arm, and processed down the south aisle to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.
Then came the photographs — of bride and groom; bride by herself; bride and bridesmaids; the wedding party (when Freda said I was talking more to Peter than to her); then all the invited guests; and lastly, one of us walking in procession along the Church path [jpg].
We had 51 guests at the Reception afterwards in No. 1 Room, forgetting that Peter & Rita would have Margaret with them. Peter read three telegrams — one delivered to The Grange yesterday from Uncle Owen & Auntie Iris in Canada, the others from Arthur, Dorothy & Richard Neal; and the girls at Limmer and Trinidad — and then the cards we received, after which he made a speech. Then I had to make one too, feeling very strange and distant, but I did remember to thank everyone for coming — Mr Dibben especially for his kindness to us — and for all the presents which they could see in the Parlour, and to say, “My wife and I”, at which point everyone laughed and applauded.
Soon it was time for us to leave. Unfortunately, Uncle Les forgot his colour camera, but he had sent Bob back to The Grange to collect it, and he returned just in time to take a few photos of us before we left for our honeymoon. [jpg]
Ron drove us to New Street Station. The train arrived on time at 2.40pm, but in the excitement I did not notice the locomotive — I think it was a Patriot. When we got on the train we sat side by side and felt very self-conscious. There was a lady sitting opposite and we felt conspicuous, feeling sure she knew we had just got married even though we had picked all the confetti off our clothes.
The train arrived at Crewe at 3.47pm. There we changed platforms to await the train leaving at 4.34pm for Oxenholme. We arrived there at 6.51pm just in time to catch the 6.56pm train to Windermere, arriving at 7.23pm. We were then only a short ’bus ride from Bowness and the Cranleigh Private Hotel. We are staying at the Annexe, Rose Cottage.
We have been for a walk in the town and by the Lakeside, and found the Methodist Church.
Guests at the Reception