Old, New, Mostly Borrowed And One Blue

Old, New, Mostly Borrowed And One Blue


Just before the Easter holiday, I received the most wonderful news about a very special dress that will hopefully be coming to the Exhibition.  I can’t tell you anymore until after 21 April when I will decide whether or not it is feasible to bring the dress all the way to Lincoln.  Logistically, it could be a nightmare so I have a tough decision to make …. I promise to let you have all the details on or around 22 April.

However, since Easter I have been a rather busy wedding dress locator.  Immediately after I finished my last chocolate egg, I drove over to Wainfleet, near Skegness to meet a lovely lady called Nola Shaw who wore her grannie’s wedding dress at her own wedding. 

The dress was first worn in 1947 by Margaret Joan Tebb (nee Harness) who was married at Carrington Church and then worn by Nola in 1995 when she was married at Thorpe St Peter’s Church.  The dress had to be shortened and had a lace overlay added to cover some staining.

Nola told me that when she was getting married she had trouble finding the ideal dress and it was whilst clearing out her grannie’s house that she found the dress that she eventually wore …. I think the fickle hand of Fate had a part to play.  For those who are or are about to be married, it’s a nightmare trying to find the perfect dress….never mind trying to find the perfect man .. the dress is much much harder to find!

When Nola opened the box, we found all sorts … not only Nola’s headress but her grannie’s too which is still rather beautiful.  However, the best thing of all was a pair of stockings worn back in 1947 on the big day!  They will all be joining the dress when it is on show in August.  Nola told me a lovely story about how the dress came to be which will be available to read during the exhibition.

From the Lincolnshire Coast I ventured over the border to Mansfield to collect a dress by Lindka Cierach, who made the magnificent dress worn by Sarah Ferguson when she married Prince Andrew .  We had this dress at our 1987 exhibition, so we are very grateful to the owners for lending it to us again.  When I saw the box it was packed in, I wasn’t quite sure whether it was going to fit in to my car but it arrived safely back over the border to Lincolnshire late on Friday night.

Today Tuesday, I was in Fosdyke near Boston to meet a lady called Janet Verity who contacted me after my appeal on BBC Radio Lincolnshire last year, to tell me that she had a dress dating from 1939.   The dress belonged to her mother, and again like the dresses of that time, is very small.  It is made of silk adorned with painted flowers.  Janet told me that her mother wore the dress quite a lot after the wedding, as in those days, you bought something that you could wear again and again.  There is a rather sad story to this dress as the Groom left for War two days after the wedding.  I will have more to tell you when I next write as Janet will be sending me the complete wonderful story.  The good news is that the groom did return from the War and the happy couple were married for many years.
The lovely thing for me is that not only have the dresses been kept but there are hats, cards and other gorgeous little keepsakes.  Janet showed me a photograph of her daughter who was wearing the most divine red hat which was sat at a most precarious angle…..the same hat was laying on the table in front of me.  It turns out that it is the hat belonging to the wedding dress.  It has the original flowers and strap.  If you look to the right of the hat, you will see a card …. this is just one of a wonderful collection of cards exchange between Janet’s parents during their time apart due to the War.
My friends always ask why I keep things that they think should be thrown away … well this is your answer…. mementoes from important days or events should always be kept …. you just never know when someone is going to arrange an exhibition.  I have kept a scrapbook and diary since the 1980s and when I flick through them I am always amazed at what I have done over the years.  I always have a chuckle when I read some of my old diaries as I may have forgotten about a particular event. 
Don’t forget to have a look on or around 22 April as I may well have some very good news.  



    dtwood April 21st, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Thank you for taking the time to share my grandmother's fashion and correspondences. Kathleen Mary Wood (nee Masters) was a wonderful woman with a great independent style and warm humor.


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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.