family affair

My niece H is to be married shortly and she asked me if I had a photo of my parents (her grandparents) on their wedding day.

My mother and father were married in 1950 in St Barnabas Church, Eltham, London. Their marriage came 5 years after the end of the Second World War and 6 years after St Barnabas was badly damaged by enemy bombing over London in 1944.

Food rationing was still in force, and friends and relatives donated ration stamps so my parents could get enough eggs, dried fruits and sugar for their wedding cake to be baked. Their cake was iced in traditional royal icing, incorporating elements of the Lambeth method. The cake topper was fashioned from wax, ribbon and wire, featuring tiny bluebirds on springs under an arch of creamy wax flowers and leaves.

My mother chose a wedding dress design that reflected the Tudor history of nearby Eltham Palace and the 16th century building where their reception was held. My mother’s headdress, which we still have, was also made of cream wax flowers.

I was lucky enough to accompany my parents to St Barnabas and Well Hall one summer to retrace their wedding day, about a decade before they passed away.  My niece will marry 61 years later, on a beautiful beach in Byron Bay, Australia.

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