However the time came when we had saved enough money at last to buy my engagement ring, it was a really beautiful solitaire diamond, which we bought from Mr Scott the jeweller in Oakengates (sadly not there now, like so many other shops and atmosphere in that once lovely little town).
I was 23 years of age, very much in love, and our love would of course see us through every happening, but would you believe that I had to ask my parents’ permission, they were not happy at all about our forthcoming engagement and marriage.
We decided that we would be married at Wombridge Church, and although I was always brought up with Methodist chapel teachings I was really no longer interested in all that three times a day every Sunday from being five years of age, “enough is enough“ I think. Dennis’s family had always attended Wombridge Church hence our lovely wedding would be held there.
This was going to be OUR day, yes our lovely wedding day, but for the present our lives carried on as usual, the atmosphere did not improve at my home in any way at all.
I am also showing a photograph of me living at home on the A5 until our day would arrive.
I will leave my revelations for now and will carry on next time relating to the build-up and our wedding actually taking place at long last.
Well, here I am again with our lives moving on, but you know when I think back to those days and endless winter nights that Dennis and I sat at his Mum’s table, drawing, scribbling, and yes deleting plans for our would be beloved bungalow, you see we both wanted perfection in our very new and beautiful home to be.
As I am writing this, I feel that now people would not tolerate all the things that I did then, and I have no doubt that any people around my age will relate to what I am writing now, those days don’t even begin to compare with today.
But despite all the somewhat hardship, and to some extent strictness, I am so glad that I was 18 to 28 years of age THEN and certainly now, with all this technology and all this education, and the know how, I would ask “Please give me my time back again,” we were, all of us, individuals and not carbon copies or clones of one another——-
Moving on, as time went on our relationship with my parents did not improve in any way, strangely enough my in-laws to be were really good to me, they accepted me without any second thoughts, and the hours spent with them in their home with my lovely Dennis was such a wonderful outlet from the ever disintegrating atmosphere in my parents’ home.
They used to say to me and I quote “you don’t want him, he is no good for you. We want you to give him up” and I had to endure all of this, and they did not really bother to get to know him properly, and of course I was determined to marry him come what may.
However, I did try to ignore all this “agro” and concentrated on what our future was going to be like, and I suppose like most couples it was going to be a wonderland of happiness, blue skies all the way and no clouds except for one that was known as “cloud nine”, but it was strange how quickly this cloud dispersed and shed rain and gloom at every corner of my life, and well, Dennis’s life too I suppose.
We were married at Wombridge Church, on the 4th December 1954, it was a very cold day, I was so very happy, and as My Dad and I left our home in Oakengates he was still asking me not to go through with it.
However, we arrived at the church, but as we walked down the aisle towards my lovely Dennis I got such very strong vibes that my Dad did not want to be there at all, but with all that had gone before we did actually get married.
We had a lovely reception at the then Caledonia Hotel, it was a lovely place at that time, and I believe that we had the whole of Newport Rugby club there (Dennis was a member of that team, he played scrum half so you can probably imagine the whole afternoon was very good and happy.)
I believe the team had a match that same afternoon, and won the match with a score of 46 – nil. Anyway reception over and I went home to get changed.
My Dad then drove us to Wellington Station to start our journey to Dublin for our honeymoon.
At this point I recall my sister Sheila (who was my bridesmaid) telling me that she was shivering with the cold, while waiting for the train. When I asked why, she said that she did not want to wear a coat over her bridesmaid dress.
Ah bless her! and it was a lovely dress too.
So off we go to Liverpool to board a boat to Dublin.
Ours was a truly wonderful day.
I will continue my story of our lives and futures together next time.
Hello again, moving on from my last story, as I told you we went to Liverpool and then on a boat to Dublin. The fare was expensive then, considering that the accommodation was really poor, but I will not go into any details. We duly arrived in Dublin and walked up the famous ‘O’Connell Street’ on our way to the Iona Hotel. Dublin really was a beautiful city then, but I believe like everywhere else now greatly changed.
We hired a little car for the week, it was a “Volkswagen Beetle”, and so we visited a few places around the outskirts of Dublin. That city, at that time of year with Christmas Lights, decorations and Christmas music everywhere and together with everything else, for us it was all purely magical.
All too soon, the time came for us to leave and at the end of that perfect week, we arrived back in Wellington, and then on to Teagues Bridge where we were going to live for the time being, and then of course all too soon back to work.
A few months later and loads of thoughts and considerations with regard to finding a place of our own.
Oh! I know life is not easy when a couple live with parents or in-laws, although I will always maintain that life was much easier and much more pleasant with my in-laws.
After all the aggravation and unpleasantness with my parents prior to our wedding, we really wanted to keep a distance from their home, simply because of the attitude problem, although we still visited them fairly regularly.
Can I say at this point, that so far as a family was concerned neither Dennis nor I were interested in having children, we had such plans for our future, and none of these included a family, but thereby hangs yet another story for another time.
After looking at houses to rent and to buy, we were much undecided what to do. So eventually after sitting night after night scanning newspapers and property details from estate agents we hit upon the idea of building our own home.
Now every night after work and once dinner was over and done with, we would sit for endless hours drawing plans with a view to possibly build, and with more paper scrapped, more ideas that we had binned, there was almost miraculously a break-through.
We decided on drawing up plans for a bungalow, and again months later we felt that we had come up with the perfect plans for our perfect home and it was going to be the last word in luxury. All that we needed now was a piece of land on which to build this dream home. In fact the drawing, with various crossings out and alterations of so many things, it all started to take its toll, and the decision was made to look for a piece of building land to buy as soon as possible.
Now all those dark winter nights seemed to be paying off and with the onset of spring, we did eventually find this piece of land and everything was totally wonderful with a future to look forward to, and I will continue with all the happenings in our lives next time.
I am enclosing a couple of photos taken on a rare break from building in 1955, and the other one more recent.