3 Weddings & a Grumpy Stepmother
by Evelyn Close
A hundred years ago, on 22nd October 1891, a wedding took place in the village Church between Arthur Close and Elizabeth Rogers. Arthur was one of the many sons of Mr R Close, a master slater, whilst Elizabeth was the elder daughter of Mr J Rogers, the licensee of the Corner Inn. (Now a private house at the lower end of the High Street).
The wedding arrangement did not proceed very smoothly as the step-mother of the bride to be, did not approve of the match. In her opinion the life of a baker’s wife would be too strenuous for the very small and frail looking Elizabeth. She vowed that she would never walk up the village street to the Church to see the couple married!
Arthur had acquired the tenancy of the baker in the village High Street and the marriage feast was to be celebrated there in preference to the Corner Inn. All the necessities for the making of bread were ready at the bakery and an early start was planned for the newly weds to begin their task the next morning.
The wedding day dawned, and the bride left her home on the arm of her father accompanied by family and friends. But the mother stubbornly refused to go, repeating her promise that never would she walk to the Church to witness the wedding.
Whilst she watched the bridal procession a farmer came along in a horse and trap. He invited Mrs Rogers to step into the trap and ride to the Church door in this vehicle. After considering the offer she decided to accept the lift and, lo and behold rode right up to the Church porch!
It was an unheard of that any vehicle should disregard the law and use the pathway to the Church as a thoroughfare. This caused a lot of anger and threats as to the consequences of such an action.
Eventually, tempers cooled and nothing dramatic happened to the culprits. The bride’s mother had kept her word and had not walked to the wedding yet was at the ceremony.
Before I leave the tale of the wedding, the last piece always pleased the bridegroom, even in later years. Many were the chuckles at the new bride’s remark at the wedding feast: she repeated the remark that was a well known saying at that time. “Well I’m at home and I wish you all were”. After some laughter and much teasing, the guests took the hint and one by one departed.
Thus began more than half a century of life at the bakery for Elizabeth and Arthur Close, a happy and successful partnership.
There were three local couples married in the village Church over the next 2 weeks and all succeeded in celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversaries.