Two weddings in Marple - 3
Monday 8th January, Hollins House
Well, it has been a busy week, and I have had difficulty in getting much more done regarding the wedding guest list. I think I got up to 44 when I left off. Thomas has said I must definitely invite his most important band members including Major Arthur, who is his home missioner currently for the meetings at the Union Rooms. Apparently his wife is called Sarah, and they live on Church Lane. Also I must invite Captain Roberts. I have yet to find out where he lives.
After the meeting at the Public Institute last Tuesday, Thomas told me I should add Mr. James Leigh to the list. He apparently was presiding at the meeting, and we had forgotten him when we were thinking of the local dignitaries earlier. His wife is Elizabeth and their daughter, Sarah, I believe to be about Mary's age, so she probably knows her. That brings us up to 50.
I enjoyed the Tea party at All Saints Anglican church. It was nicely decorated and those who did the recitations and dialogues and musical pieces, did well. Mr. Joseph Vaugh presided. I wonder if we should invite him. I will have to ask Thomas what he thinks.
I asked Mary if I could spend sometime with her today discussing the details of her wedding, and she gladly agreed.
"When you were off with Frank yesterday, did you come up with a date for the wedding. We must get these invitations printed as soon as possible.
"Yes, Mamma. We decided we would like Thursday, the 8th of March."
"Why not a Saturday?"
"I had Oswald check with the minister. Somebody else has already booked that Saturday, and I didn't like the idea of having it on a Friday."
"But that is no time at all - just two months. Did you not tell Frank that I suggested the 26th, Easter Monday? And being a holiday for the workforce, it would make life much simpler if you had it then."
"No, he was determined, and I agreed with him."
"And why, pray tell, did he become determined on that date?"
"As we told you before, his father has just taken over the Shanghai branch of the business, and he wants Frank to go there to become acquainted with it all. I think it is a wonderful plan. And we can get a ship leaving from Liverpool on that weekend."
"And what about moving into Woodville? You know that it takes time to sort out a new house, especially one that size. You will have to hire staff, and redecorate. I don't know if you remember the state John and Hannah left it in. And with having the Hodgkinson's living there in the meantime. As they weren't buying it, they didn't do a thing to improve it."
"Where are they going now?"
"To Marple Hall, for the time being. The Bradshaw Isherwoods will be away soon."
"I'm sure we can get our things moved in before the wedding, and also engage workmen to do the necessary works to the house and garden while we are gone. And I expect you can oversee them, and pay them when necessary, if we leave you instructions and the necessary cash."
"Well, it would be far better for you to be doing that yourselves, but I suppose if Frank is determined that it has to be that date, we will have to go with that. But now down to the details of the wedding. I will talk your father around on the matter of the wedding being at the Congregational Church rather than the Union Rooms Chapel. It just wouldn't be seemly, and we can have the reception at his choice afterwards. That should please him. "
"Do you suppose he will want his Union Army to be involved? I don't mind, if he really feels strongly about it, but it isn't very wedding like - is it - to have a marching band?"
"Well, certainly they wouldn't be wanted at the wedding itself. I suppose they might provide some sort of entertainment during the reception. I will check with your Father about that too.
"Have you thought about who you will have for your bridesmaids?"
"I will have Jessie of course, and Bernice if she can get off school early and get home for it. And I think Frank has asked his elder brother John to be his groomsman."
"Are there likely to be many others from his family's friends coming?"
"I will check with him. We should anticipate at least 30 or 40, I would think."
"As many as that? I must contact his mother and get her to provide a list to me for sending out the invitiations."
"Yes, I am sure she will be pleased to do that."
"Now, about your dress. We need to get going immediately with a dressmaker, as it will take time, and the bridesmaids' outfits as well."
"Couldn't we buy one already made? I understand that Kendal's in Manchester has a stock of already made up wedding gowns, that you can just try on and then buy, or order to have one made just like it."
"Ready made? That sounds very tacky. But I suppose we can at least go and see what is on offer. Let's you and Jessie and I plan to go to Manchester on Saturday. I wonder if they will have a similar stock of bridesmaid's dresses. Have you thought of a colour scheme? It will be so early in spring that it might as well still be winter. The dresses will need to be warm and we might even have freezing weather and snow in early March."
"But as I am intending to need several very pretty dresses when we are in Shanghai, I will probably go with a light weight gown, and hope not to be too cold."
"Ah, here comes your Father and the boys. Let's see if they anything to add regarding your wedding."
"What a stink there is outside, have you noticed?" asked Thomas.
""Rev De la Hay says he is going to complain," put in Oswald. "I think he has every right, as those gas barrels are loaded outside St Martin's Vicarage, and there is no reason why they couldn't be loaded somewhere else. He says he will write to the Canal Company."
"Oh, that reminds me, Thomas," I put in. "Do you think we should invite the De la Heys to the wedding? We don't really have anything to do with his church."
"Of course, the more the merrier, and he is an important personage in our little town. I believe his wife is called Esther and they have three sons, one very young still. And while you are at it, have you put Mr. Moore on the list? He will be the first person who investigates this dreadful gas/oil smell. I think he is busy working on getting the water supply settled too. I understand that mains water for Marple Hall will be finished and in operation before long, and then maybe they will get around to the rest of us. I think the Moore's children are close in age to our children - so they probably know them."
"Do you know his wife's name and their address?"
"I do, Mother," said Jessie. "She is Isabella, and their children are Harriet, who is my age, and Albert who is the same age as Robertson. They live in Hawk Green, at Mount Pleasant. I saw Harriet at the Penny Reading at Albert Schools last Sunday. "
"Oh, was that successful? Where did the money go to, do you know?"
I made a note that my wedding list total was now 58 for us, with 30-40 for Frank's family.
"Yes, Mr Hodgkinson was presiding and he announced that it would go to the school enlargement fund."
"At least that is a change from the missions," said Ernest."I get tired of giving up my pennies for the poor people in China or wherever else."
"By the way, Mother, the plans for the new vestry for the Congregational Church were submitted and passed last week," said Oswald. "So that if they get a move on, it will all be done before our wedding, and make it look a bit better."
"Excellent news. And what about the new minister, any news about who is coming and when?"
"Nothing official yet. A few feelers have been put out. I'll let you know."
Now I must arrange with Sheratt, the coachman to take me and the girls into Manchester on Saturday. I'll finish writing in this book later.