50 years ago, today I picked up the skirt of my long wedding dress and raced into St. Anne’s Church, Fox Hill,
Father King, who was the Anglican priest at St. Anne’s Church back then, had told me he didn’t believe in brides being late for their wedding. He said if I wasn’t on time, he wouldn’t marry us!
|Racing into St. Anne's Church with the|
father-giver Gordon Ashton
Unfortunately, the limousine driver who should have picked me up got the time wrong by a whole hour. He was nowhere to be seen. I waited frantically for him that hot July day at my apartment on
Village Road, along with my fiancé’s
boss, Gordon Ashton. He was to give me away in my father’s absence.
My future husband Erskine was already at the church, along with his parents, relatives, my grandmother and mother who’d flown out from England, many friends – and of course the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
|Left to right: My mother, Erskine's mother, and my grandmother|
But rescue came in the shape of Levi Wilson, a colleague and friend of Erskine’s. He turned up in an old run down car, with brown paper packages in the back, and asked if there was anything he could do to help. “Get me to the church!” I almost screamed. There was no way I was going to be late for my wedding!
A few minutes later Levi’s car sped down
Village Road and turned right along the Eastern Road towards
St. Anne’s. I was crammed into the back of the car with Mr. Ashton, my wedding
dress bundled up to my chin. As we flew past pedestrians on the side of the
road, for a moment I wondered why they were staring. Then I remembered – what
bride goes to her wedding in a beat up old car with brown paper packages in the
Thankfully, I just got to the church on time!
St. Anne’s Church didn’t have air conditioning in those days and I wore a long sleeved wedding dress, as current fashion trends determined that if I didn’t I would have to wear gloves. Erskine whipped out his clean white handkerchief to pass around between the priest, him and me, during the ceremony!
|Left to right: Erskine's father going into the church, |
my grandmother, and the bridesmaids
After our wedding, leaving the church we spotted the limousine driver outside waving his fist at us. He swore that it was us who got the time of our marriage wrong!
|Relaxing outside the church after our wedding|
The motorcade down
Street, on the way to our reception at the old
Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Oakesfield, wasn’t what we planned. Again I was
squashed up in the back of a car, this time in a meter cab with my new husband.
And with a very grumpy driver, who refused to enter into the spirit of the
occasion and beep his horn, as was the usual custom.
But apart from the miniature “bride and groom” missing from the top of our wedding cake and our honeymoon flight to Jamaica being brought forward an hour, cutting out some of our time at the reception, our wedding was an event to cherish.
When Erskine asked me to marry him over 50 years ago, he said we would make it if we “pulled together and not apart”. This is something we have always strived to do. Here we are now 50 years on and still together!