This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Social and for a minute there, I was going to go for 4 weddings and a funeral (a rather lovely film!) but decided to stick at the 4 weddings.
I chose the weddings of 4 siblings, my grandfather Ronald Pilbeam and 3 of his siblings, Phyllis, Gwen and Sidney.
The first to marry was Phyllis Naomi, the oldest child, born in 1907 to George and Nahomi Pilbeam of Rushford Farm, Three Cups, Punnetts Town. She married Percy Thomas Cottingham, second son of Mr C E Cottingham of Warren Farm, Halland on 22 July 1933 at The New Gospel Hall, Maynards Green. Mr W Payne from Lingfield officiated, who I need to research as I am thinking he could be related to my Grandmother, Edith Terry. Her mother was a Payne from Lingfield. The bride wore a dress of white satin and an embroidered net veil surmounted by a coronet of orange blossom. There were three bridesmaids, Joan Pilbeam, the bride’s sister and Ruth and Winnie Cottingham, sisters of the bridegroom. Edward Cottingham, brother of the groom was the best man. The report in the local newspaper has an extremely long list of people who gave presents.
The second pair to marry was Sidney George, the first son of George and Nahomi Pilbeam born in 1909 and he married Eva Edith Delves, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs William Delves of Lynton, Maynards Green on 21 August 1935, again at Maynards Green. The newspaper announced that Punnetts Town Teacher weds. Eva was a teacher and then headmistress at Punnetts Town for many years and is remembered by many past pupils. The bride wore a simple gown of white crepe de chine, embroidered net veil, wreath of orange blossom, white kid shoes and carried a shower bouquet of white carnations and ferns. She had two bridesmaids, her sister Vera Delves and Joan Pilbeam, groom’s sister. The best man was Ron Pilbeam, groom’s brother. The couple were to live at Beech Croft, Punnetts Town, newly built. Again there was a long list of presents including many family members.
Only a few weeks later, on 14 September 1935 the second daughter, Gwendoline born 1908 married Edward Charles Cottingham, brother of Percy Cottingham at Maynards Green Gospel Hall. The bride wore a dress of white satin, with embroidered veil and coronet of orange blossom and white satin shoes. Her bouquet was of bronze chrysanthemums. Bridesmaids were Joan Pilbeam, the bride’s sister and Ruth and Winnie Cottingham, groom’s sisters. The best man was Leslie Cottingham, groom’s brother. The couple were reported to be going to live at Ash Grove, Shortgate, Laughton and they received many useful presents, not listed this time.
The last wedding was that of my grandparents Ronald and Edith on 7 August 1937 at Lingfield Mission Room. The service was again conducted by William Payne. The bride wore a long white dress and veil trimmed with orange blossom. She carried a shower bouquet of pink and white carnations and her only jewellery was a string of pearls. She had two bridesmaids, her sister Winifred and Joan Pilbeam, groom’s sister. Sidney Pilbeam was the best man. They left the reception bound for their reception in Worthing.
The more I search the British newspapers that are currently available on Findmypast, the more I am learning about how my family lived their lives, the places they worshipped at, the people they knew and the families that intermingled through these connections. These articles are also a useful tool for giving you hints to family members not yet found and places they lived. But mostly I love the details from these reports of the wedding dresses and the flowers that were fashionable at the time.