White dress for a young wedding

I was about 17 when I met my husband – Public Hall, as usual! I got engaged when I was 18. In those days, everybody had a black raw-grain skirt. It was like a water marked – heavy taffeta material. Everybody had one! And high heels, but not very high ones. About two inches at the most.

My husband, Ian, went in the Merchant Navy after we got engaged. Fortunately, I worked in the railway offices so I got free passes and quarter fares, so when his boat was coming in to dock in Southampton, I had an aunty living there and I’d get the train up and down. We got married when I was 20.

He was my first boyfriend. I stuck with him.

The wedding was in St Georges in Barrow. I had a white, proper reef and veil. I didn’t want that. I wanted to get married in just an ordinary dress, an ordinary suit. I didn’t want a big wedding, but if I wanted to get married before I was 21 I had to do as my mum said, so I had to have a big wedding. It was their wedding, not mine! I wasn’t into big weddings, I would have just got married in a dress, in a suit, and a quiet wedding. But I had to wait until I was 21 to get that. and I didn’t want to wait so we had to have the white wedding. Mind you, I’m glad I did now.

And when he came out of the Merchant Navy he went into Vickers, the drawing office there. I stayed at the railway offices until just after I got married. And then I worked in the town hall for a while, in the borough surveyors. It was nine years until I had Duncan, my son.

Unfortunately Ian died, after 17 years of marriage. But I did get married again. He was from Barrow. I just got by chance introduced to him. It was one of these things. I went out, with my friend, you know just going out for a night occasionally while I had a babysitter, and he offered to walk me home and, well, we just progressed from there. And we were married for forty years.

Thank you to Joy for sharing this story.