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The Day Before Yesterday: 42 Here Comes The Bride

...I worked right up to Friday evening, no days off for preparation. Cliff said to his boss, "I'm getting married tomorrow, is it alright if I have the morning off?"

His boss said "What time is the wedding?"

"Two thirty" replied Cliff.

"Well then", says he, "can't you come in in the morning?"...

Gladys Schofield recalls her wedding day.

It was a pleasant walk for Cliff in the mornings to catch his bus down the lane with the woods on either side, past the secluded large house that had once belonged to the Golf Club, then weaving his way down a narrow path through the Golf Links to the valley below. You then climbed steadily up again to the main road. This walk took about twenty minutes but the fresh air and tranquillity were well worth the effort.

Trolley buses had now taken the place of the tramcar on all the main roads, and where as a child I had watched the tram reach its destination a turntable had been built to enable the bus to turn around. They were not as ingenious as the old trams that could use either end to travel. A conductor was employed to take your fare and punch you a ticket.

The weeks passed so quickly before the wedding. We had so much to plan and do. We were getting married in the church I had passed a few years earlier when I was followed home.

I worked right up to Friday evening, no days off for preparation. Cliff said to his boss, "I'm getting married tomorrow, is it alright if I have the morning off?"

His boss said "What time is the wedding?"

"Two thirty" replied Cliff.

"Well then", says he, "can't you come in in the morning?"

Needless to say he did take the morning off, but how is that for tight fistedness? He was already used to Cliff being a permanent fixture there.

We had showers on Saturday. Mum had sent my brother John off early to keep Cliff company for the morning as John (the Best Man's name also) had not been so lucky in getting the morning off.

I didn't know how Cliff was feeling but I was nervous and took time with my bath, to keep away from all the hustle and bustle going on downstairs. Relations were arriving and the house was packed, as the weather kept everyone inside.

I can't remember eating anything, but Dorothy and Mum were there to help me into all my finery. The house was somewhat empty when I did go downstairs. So many things were going through my mind. Had Cliff remembered everything he was supposed to do? When I entered Dad was sat at the piano looking splendid, his double white carnation already fixed in his buttonhole.

As I came through the door, he started to play the chord of 'Here Comes the Bride', and I burst into tears. Poor Dad wondered what he had done, while my Aunty Miriam fussed about and gave me a cup of tea with something hot in it to calm my nerves.

At that moment the rain stopped and there was Uncle Ernest waiting at the door, his car beautifully decked with white ribbons. And off we went.

The church was packed. I think everyone who ever knew us was there that day. There stood Cliff straight and tall as always beside his Best Man, turning to smile at me, as I drew nearer on the arm of my dad and we made our vows.

We didn't get a honeymoon but went straight to our little house that evening when we could excuse ourselves, my uncle offering to drive us in his car, still wearing its finery.

Our first caller in the morning was the milkman, can in hand, to stir us at an early hour, as no jug sat on our step. It hadn't been a priority the night before. He beamed and wished us all the best.

Later that morning we had another visitor. My dad came to the door carrying a radio. It was very large and heavy, and we wondered how on earth he had carried it all that way on his own from his house. It was nearly all uphill.

It had been a standing joke between us for years. Dad had bought a new radio a couple of years earlier but I had insisted the old set had a much nicer tone, and I should know as I listened and learned all the latest tunes by heart whenever I could. The Dance Band leaders like Jack Payne and Henry Hall used to compete against each other. We would always sing the Top Ten at every opportunity.

Dad must have known I would miss this music and that's why he was here this morning, to give us the old radio, saying no one would listen to it now I wasn't there. Our parents seemed to show their love in the strangest way. This journey must have tired my father out, but a simple hug from one of them would have meant much more to me. That radio was the first we owned and lasted long after the war.


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