On a stormy day, at 2 O’clock on Thursday 7th May 1925 my Grandparents married in Beaminster parish church. My Grandmother, Laura May, was the only daughter of Grandad Beck and his wife Rebecca. Because she died when my father was a small lad, there are few memories of her. We have a few clues to their wedding day, family photographs, a Bridport News article and a hand written note book of invitations sent. From these sources I have written this post.
The wedding took place at Beaminster Parish Church, described as capacious and stately, and was filled with relatives and friends. The ceremony was impressively conducted by the Vicar (Canon G. C. Hutchings, M.A.) assisted by the Rev. Mr Kershaw, of Powerstock. The paper also tells us the hymns sung were, “Lead us heavenly Father lead us,” and “O perfect love all human thoughts transcending.”
Bride and Groom
The Bridport News observed that since 24 year old May had resided in the town she has won the hearts of all who knew her by her charm of manner and sweetness of disposition. May wore a dress of brocade satin with a tulle veil held by wreath of orange blossom, pearl necklace and long white gloves. Her bouquet was made up of Madonna lilies.
The Bridegroom, my Grandfather was Fredrick Osborne House, son of Tom and Martha House from Powerstock. At the time of his wedding 36 year old Fred was farming at Wytherston Farm near Powerstock. Fred had 7 brothers and 1 sister, most of the brothers were farmers. Tom and Martha lived at The Glebe, Powerstock and the Bridport News describes them as a family widely known and esteemed throughout West Dorset. In the photographs Fred looks very smart in his top hat and tails.
The Bridport News gives the best man as Mr F. O. House, of the Manor, Little Bredy. Possibly Fredrick Osmond House, Fred’s cousin who on the 1911 census, lived at Manor Farm, Compton Abbas Born c. 1891.
May and Fred choose three bridesmaid, from the pictures they are all of a similar height and age. I wonder if they were chosen for their family connections or if the fact they looked so good together had anything to do with the selection.
I don’t know which girl is which but the Bridport News printed the names as Misses A. Prideaux, E. Hallett and Ivy House. Anstis Prideaux is Fred’s sister’s daughter. Edith Mary Anstis Prideaux was born on 1st May 1911 so would have just celebrated her 14th Birthday. The family lived at Wadham House, Dorchester.
The only Ivy House I have found in the family to-date is a sister of the best man who was born in 1907 so would have been 19 years old. All the girls look young than this in the photograph, so there may be another Ivy House. It is unknown if, E Hallett is a friend or a relation. From May’s wedding list, Mr & Mrs Hallett & Family from Wraxall, Maiden Newton where invited to the wedding, so Miss E Hallett may be part of this family.
The bridesmaids wore ivory georgette dresses, sashes of gold tissue with shoes and stocking of a similar hue. They wore gifts from the bridegroom of gold bangles and carried flame coloured tulips. From the photograph we can see they wore veils and long gloves. It is easy to see why the Bridport News described them as a striking and picturesque picture.
After the service, the reception was held in the Public (Town) Hall for over 150 guests, representative of all sections of the community and a very pleasant hour was spent in social intercourse.
The Bridport News lists a few of the guests, which included Lieut-Col. And Mrs T. A Colfox, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bridport (Mr & Mrs F. Weeks) and the list goes on. May’s little handwritten notebook gives us over 300 people who were invited to the wedding.
Mrs M. Toman of South Street, Beaminster was responsible for the catering and the four-tier wedding cake. The hall and tables were decorated very prettily and displayed were the couples wedding presents, numbering close upon 200 were a handsome and costly character. The Bride and Bridegroom exchanged gifts, an armchair for Fred and a cheque for May. From the photograph I can see several items that I have inherited, including a little silver posy vase that topped my wedding cake.
The health of the bride and groom was proposed by Canon Hutchings, who enumerated the excellent qualities of the young people and their respective families. Mr Tom House, the groom’s father proposed the health of the bridesmaids and Lieut.-Col. Colfox proposed a toast to both the bride and groom’s parents. Grandad Beck duly acknowledged the toast.
The newly married pair left for their honeymoon with May wearing a fawn three piece suit.
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References Quotes in Italics:
Bridport News 1925 May 8 p8 The headline was “Popular Wedding at Beaminster”