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50 years on... memories of lovely day at pal's wedding

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 18, 2014

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Reader Joan Lane (nee Windle), from Rocester, shares her memories of the wedding of Beryl and Harold Baker, which took place 50 years ago, after seeing it in our family announcements section last week.

IN June 1964, I was a bridesmaid at Beryl and Harold's wedding.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday and, as Michael and Sylvia Gadsby commented in last week's issue, "it does not seem 50 years ago"!

Michael and Sylvia got married at St Oswald's church, as did I some 18 months after them.

Beryl (nee Walker) asked me and our work colleague Laraine Woodward to be her bridesmaids. All three of us worked together at Beryl's aunt's salon in the Market Place, Nance's Salon.

I was so excited as I had never been a bridesmaid before and it was such an honour and a pleasure to be one.

Beryl wore a lovely heavy satin gown bought from Pronuptua in Nottingham.

Beryl chose some material for our bridesmaids' dresses.

This did cause a few problems since it was up our mums to make the dresses.

It would not normally have been a problem as both my mum and Laraine's mum were machinists with Richard Cooper's and were very familiar with cutting out and sewing garments.

The problem was the quite heavy watermark green satin that was chosen.

Every time the material was cut, it frayed and the design, while lovely, was difficult to assemble with awkward bodice seams and tight long sleeves, sleeves with small buttons fastening from the elbow to the wrist.

Twice my mum and Laraine's mum unpicked the dress but, almost at the last moment, it was done – much to the relief of our mums!

The day arrived, Tuesday, as it was half-day closing at the salon.

Laraine and I had our hair set and we got dressed in the lovely green satin dresses. We carried orange Fiesta lilies and Beryl carried a lovely bouquet of Calla lilies.

We were taken from the salon to St Oswald's Church, where three of Beryl's nephews and nieces were the "tiny" attendants.

After the service, we all travelled along to Daisy Bank in Belle Vue Road, which is now called the White House.

Beryl's mum had prepared a lovely buffet for us all and around 30 guests sat out on the terrace of Daisy Bank and enjoyed refreshments and the fine view over Ashbourne.

Beryl and Harold made their home in the flat above Spencer's Café.

Beryl and Harold are a lovely couple and, indeed, Beryl is godmother to my son. We keep in touch regularly and, as I say, it really doesn't seem as if it was 50 years ago.

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