Author Topic: Wedding Gifts  (Read 896 times)

Offline iwccc

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #9 on: Saturday 04 November 17 22:38 GMT (UK) »
thanks dawnsh,  I too had a glory box in the 1960's. I remember relatives giving me cups, saucers and plates, cake plates, cake forks etc. as christmas and birthday gifts for my 'Glory Box'.  I bought linen from Waltons on lay by and it came with a free afternoon tea set of cups, saucers and plates. Lovely blue forget-me-knot pattern.   Each piece of cooking utensils I bought to match a prospective yellow kitchen theme.  Dad built a long cupboard to put across the top of my wardrobe unit so that I could store all the 'loot'.  Loved getting it down and checking what I had.  Ah memories.....those were the days but I really want to know about 1918!?!?!??

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Offline dawnsh

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #10 on: Sunday 05 November 17 22:26 GMT (UK) »
I imagine it was the same back then, if you had a few pennies saved, you put them to good use and bought something useful rather than ornamental.

I've just been looking at wedding announcements in the Newspaper Archive via FindMyPast.

I know a lot of these were 'society' weddings but one couple received a butter dish, tablecloth, two tea cosies!, a jam spoons, hot water jug and lace handkerchiefs.

Sounds a bit like the Generation Game conveyor belt!
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Sherry-Paddington & Marylebone,
Longhurst-Ealing & Capel, Abinger, Ewhurst & Ockley,
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Offline groom

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #11 on: Monday 06 November 17 00:47 GMT (UK) »
Bit here about weddings in 1918

https://www.rushdenheritage.co.uk/people/christmasweddings.html

Most people then lived with their parents before marriage, so wouldn't have anything of their own, so I guess they would have asked for practical things such as kitchenware, dinner services etc. It probably depended what background they came from as the the quality and quantity.
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Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #12 on: Monday 06 November 17 01:15 GMT (UK) »
There is a drama series called "Home Front" on BBC Radio 4, set in Britain during WW1. Most of the characters live in Folkstone.  Each episode is set exactly 100 years ago.
 Currently, in 1917, people are having to cope with food shortages. There are laws against wasting food; bin men report householders if they find edible food in bins. Bakers are not allowed to sell fresh bread, because it can't be sliced thinly; it has to be a day old before customers can buy it. A child character is a baker's daughter. She smuggled fresh bread from the shop and sold it but was discovered by a police constable. A Belgian refugee baker lived with the family earlier in the war and made Belgian Buns to sell to other refugees, but there are no cakes now. Cookery classes, demonstrations and competitions are held to encourage frugality. Flower gardens are made into vegetable plots.  People join long queues outside food shops. Even the wealthy family in the series are cutting down their food intake. There weren't enough eggs for everyone's breakfast one morning.

There have been some weddings, all arranged at short notice, some bridegrooms being soldiers. Two brides were housemaids at the vicarage. One of them, Kittty, is a main character. She was married in autumn 1914. Reception in church hall with flowers from vicarage garden. She was marrying "above her station" to the nephew of the wife of a town councillor and local bigwig. Bridegroom's relations disapproved and didn't attend wedding, but his aunt relented slightly and sent a salmon for the reception. Vicar's wife arranged reception and catering. Bridegroom embarked with his regiment later that day, or next day. Bride went home to her parents. 3 years later she still lives with her parents, although she used her separation allowance to rent a room for herself and son for a while. Twice when husband was on leave they went to a hotel. If they received wedding presents or if Kitty had items in a "bottom drawer" she won't have had chance to use them, since she has no home of her own.

The other housemaid, a Belgian refugee, married an army doctor, a friend of the vicar. She, like Kitty, was pregnant, so another quick wedding, and disapproved of by some. There were probably presents. The bride had no relations. The doctor and his wife have a home of their own but it was damaged by aerial bombing in May 1917.
Police sergeant's soldier son, Mervyn, came home on leave and married his fiancée next day. Mervyn insisted on buying her a wedding dress she'd admired in a shop window, although she already had an outfit. Bridegroom's dad came to the wedding in uniform as he'd been on duty. Mervyn was killed in The Battle of The Somme along with his brother and 2 cousins who'd all joined up together. His widow has lived with his parents so probably never used her wedding presents either. She's just married again to a police constable.
Another housemaid, 17 year-old Esme is engaged to a Belgian refugee and is collecting items for her bottom-drawer. So far she's got a few cooking utensils. She is from a poor family, with a drunkard bully for a father. Her fiancé is a gardener and part-time milliner.  Esme works for the councillor's family. Her fiancé was making hats for the wedding of the councillors' daughter in the last series, but the wedding has been called off so I can't report the details of a "society" wedding. Esme's father forced her mother to pawn her canteen of cutlery. That might have been a wedding present.
Two other weddings took place on the same day at the registry office. They were both arranged quickly. One was a marriage of convenience; bridegroom was trying to avoid conscription. The coupes were acquainted (not friends) and had a joint wedding reception. The brides were mature, around 30, with their own businesses.
Two young war widows married again very quickly.
I don't recall mention of gifts for any wedding, but the episodes are short, only 11 minutes. There's a website with background information.
If it was a TV series I might have noticed more about the weddings. I'd know what the bride's outfits were like and might have glimpsed food. Eating on radio interferes with delivery of dialogue.  The previous series is repeated on Radio 4 Extra at 10 A.M. and  3 P.M. Monday-Friday this week. Companion series "Tommies" also repeated at 11.15 A.M on same channel.

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #13 on: Monday 06 November 17 01:35 GMT (UK) »
That sounds a fascinating series, Maiden Stone, I wonder if it’s available as a podcast? I must look it up.
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Offline groom

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #14 on: Monday 06 November 17 01:42 GMT (UK) »
Found it.  It comes as an omnibus edition. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04dv1g4/episodes/downloads
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Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #15 on: Monday 06 November 17 02:41 GMT (UK) »
That sounds a fascinating series, Maiden Stone, I wonder if it’s available as a podcast? I must look it up.
I've listened to it since the first episode in August 1914/2014. Each series lasts 8 weeks (40 episodes). Then a break of about 2 months until next series. The previous series is repeated on Radio 4 Extra prior to each new series starting on Radio 4.
 A series of "Tommies" is usually broadcast when "Home Front" is off-air. An episode of "Tommies" (45 minutes) is also about events of that day 100 years ago. With this being Remembrance week both series are being repeated on Radio 4 Extra. "Tommies" follows members of a Signals Unit. Main character is Micky Bliss. Some stories feature other characters as main protagonist, e.g. a British woman doctor in the Balkans. There's a narrator occasionally chipping in with factual bits. There's a website for "Tommies" as well.
Each series of "Home Front" has a theme. "Lost Boys" was theme of the first series. The last one, July-Sept. 1917 was mental fragility. Most characters are fictional but there are a few real ones in minor, fleeting parts. Kitty, the former housemaid who married "above her station" is a key character. She lives in Folkstone but sometimes stays in Tynemouth in N. E. England and once in Devon. The story arc follows her.  All the characters, with actors' photos are on website.
I recommend listening from the beginning. Some characters, Kitty for one, have had a turbulent 3 years. They all bear many scars.

Offline Rena

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #16 on: Monday 06 November 17 03:53 GMT (UK) »
There tended to be large families in those days.  For instance my maternal grandparents from the labouring class had 14 siblings between them and my paternal grandparents from the upper working class had the same number.   Like many others I collected items for my bottom drawer and I'm imagining that brides with several sisters would have conveyed any essentials she'd like them to buy as gifts or make as a collective gift, such as a (patchwork)quilt for the bed or a rag hearth mat.

The Antique Roadshow on TV often show gifts bought at that time such as sets of fruit spoons and it seems many large manor houses held sales of household goods which ordinary people bought cheaply and some are now extremely valuable metal or china & porcelain items.

 The usual things in those days would be crockery that the bride didn't already have,
a set of fire irons ( = poker, tongs, small shovel for coal fires), also brass or copper coal scuttle.
copper pans and kettle (or cheaper ones) to use on the open fire; 
toast rack;  teapot, jug,sugar basin c/w tray set for the table
wooden tray and tray cloth.
Bread was kept in extremely large heavy earthenware basins (called pancheons where I lived) which were covered with a linen cloth.  If the bride didn't  have one, maybe one was given as a wedding present.
antimacassars to cover the arms & backs of chairs,
crochet or cotton embroidered sideboard runners and doilies.
In those days open jugs, basins and pots were covered with very pretty circular muslin cover that had coloured beads sown around the edge to keep the flies off the contents.
It was the fashion to put a vase at each end of the mantelpiece with either a clock or an ornament in the middle.
 

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Offline iwccc

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #17 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 10:37 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Rena,   Appreciate your input to my question. Very interesting.  What may I ask is a 'c/w tray set for the table'?