Old, New, Mostly Borrowed And One Blue

Old, New, Mostly Borrowed And One Blue

NEW ARRIVAL

Yesterday (Thursday) I was at the Hall to photograph a new arrival … not a baby but a rather gorgeous wedding dress dating from about 1907 and came via a gentleman who lives at the Rectory on the Doddington Estate. In a print from 1700 the Rectory is shown as little more than a cottage. In 1787 an estimate for total repairs came to the sum of £15: this included repairs to the house, stables, fences and to the Chancel of the church. The survey was carried out by Mr William Lumby who was Surveyor to Lincoln Cathedral and was employed by the owner of Doddington at that time, Sir John Delaval, to carry out renovations to the Hall itself. After the repairs were done, Sir John rented out the house and greatly improved it by adding a new front.  
The dress belongs to a relative of the owner of the Rectory and was originally made for the mother of his ancient aunt who will be 95 years old very soon.  She in turn married his mother’s eldest brother Jack Bergne-Coupland of Skellingthorpe Hall – Skellingthorpe is the village adjacent to Doddington.  The second time the dress was worn was at his mother’s wedding and the final time in 1967 by a lady called Virginia Neild who is the current owner (his aunt’s niece). 

Phew … families are very confusing … it has taken me ages to work all of this out so I apologise to all readers if, you too, find it hard to follow.
The dress arrived in a suitcase but is now wrapped in lots of tissue paper and a hanging bag in the Blue Room at Doddington.  My thanks go to Rose, our Housekeeper, for her hard work in doing this for me… we have all of these wonderful people at Doddington who save me lots of work without me even having to ask them. 
I was so excited that the dress was at Doddington as I was meant to be collecting it from Newmarket later this year.  I was not only excited by the fact that I wouldn’t have to drive to Newmarket (I love Newmarket but as the exhibition draws near time is precious) but that one of the exhibits was in situ.
On opening the bag, I found the most gorgeous silk dress which was in extremely good condition.  Not only was there a dress but two capes:  one for the bride and one that must have belonged to a bridesmaid as it was quite small.   There was also a pair of shoes! 
Looking inside the dress I found the maker’s lable and you will see from the photograph that it was made in Liverpool.  The cape was made in an entirely different part of the country and, again, the address can be clearly seen on its lable.
The shoes are just exquisite.  They are the typical style of the day and one that I love.  The soles are made of leather and the beading detail on the front of the shoe is beautiful.  They are like ballet shoes with heels!
Whilst looking at the dress, I was taken back to the owner of the Rectory’s mother … Nancy.  She was the sweetest lady and looked after me extremely well when I first arrived at Doddington.  Many a day she would cook me lunch and arrive at the office with produce from her garden – it was very hard to get work done when Nancy was around.  She was also a very well known trainer of gun dogs and could be seen every day on the Estate with her black Labrador, Busy Bee…. or was it Buzzy Bee?  Either way, they were both lovely!
 
 

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About this Sponsor

A wonderful and exciting collection of interesting and historical wedding dresses dating from the 1820s to the present day.  Many of the dresses have been loaned by private collectors as well as national museums.  A number of the dresses on show, have been loaned by a number of the great houses of England:  Burghley, Belvoir Castle, Somerleyton Hall to name just a few.

The interesting dresses will include one made from the fleece of a Lincolnshire Longwool sheep, loo paper and a complete knitted dress include the sandwiches and cake destined for the reception.  Canine wedding dresses will also be featured.

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