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Will it snow this winter?

During the year I have received several messages through this blog, all have been interesting. Thank you. Several messages were interested in Dorset Police and these contacts I have passed on to Ian who hopes to be bringing you a history of the Dorset Police force and the Policemen who walked our streets, in 2018. Other messages were members of the Beck or House family, I have loved meeting you on line and hopefully in person in 2018. Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Sylvia Photo of May taken at Blandford Police Station most likely during WW1

Popular Wedding at Beaminster

On a stormy day, at 2 O'clock on Thursday 7th May 1925 my Grandparents married in Beaminster parish church.  My Grandmother, Laura May, was the only daughter of Grandad Beck and his wife Rebecca. Because she died when my father was a small lad, there are few memories of her. We have a few clues to their wedding day, family photographs, a Bridport News article and a hand written note book of invitations sent.  From these sources I have written this post.

The wedding took place at Beaminster Parish Church, described as capacious and stately, and was filled with relatives and friends.  The ceremony was impressively conducted by the Vicar (Canon G. C. Hutchings, M.A.) assisted by the Rev. Mr Kershaw, of Powerstock.  The paper also tells us the hymns sung were, "Lead us heavenly Father lead us," and "O perfect love all human thoughts transcending."

Bride and groom
Mr & Mrs House on their wedding day

Bride and Groom

The Bridport News observed that since 24 year old May had resided in the town she has won the hearts of all who knew her by her charm of manner and sweetness of disposition.  May wore a dress of brocade satin with a tulle veil held by wreath of orange blossom, pearl necklace and long white gloves.  Her bouquet was made up of Madonna lilies.

The Bridegroom, my Grandfather was Fredrick Osborne House, son of Tom and Martha House from Powerstock.  At the time of his wedding 36 year old Fred was farming at Wytherston Farm near Powerstock.  Fred had 7 brothers and 1 sister, most of the brothers were farmers. Tom and Martha lived at The Glebe, Powerstock and the Bridport News describes them as a family widely known and esteemed throughout West Dorset. In the photographs Fred looks very smart in his top hat and tails.

The Bridport News gives the best man as Mr F. O. House, of the Manor, Little Bredy.  Possibly Fredrick Osmond House, Fred's cousin who on the 1911 census, lived at Manor Farm, Compton Abbas Born c. 1891.

3 Bridesmaids
The three Bridesmaids, try to keep still in the wind



May and Fred choose three bridesmaid, from the pictures they are all of a similar height and age.  I wonder if they were chosen for their family connections or if the fact they looked so good together had anything to do with the selection.

I don't know which girl is which but the Bridport News printed the names as Misses A. Prideaux, E. Hallett and Ivy House.  Anstis Prideaux is Fred's sister's daughter. Edith Mary Anstis Prideaux was born on 1st May 1911 so would have just celebrated her 14th Birthday.  The family lived at Wadham House, Dorchester.

The only Ivy House I have found in the family to-date is a sister of the best man who was born in 1907 so would have been 19 years old.  All the girls look young than this in the photograph, so there may be another Ivy House. It is unknown if, E Hallett is a friend or a relation. From May's wedding list, Mr & Mrs Hallett & Family from Wraxall, Maiden Newton where invited to the wedding, so Miss E Hallett may be part of this family.

The bridesmaids wore ivory georgette dresses, sashes of gold tissue  with shoes and stocking of a similar hue.  They wore gifts from the bridegroom of gold bangles and carried flame coloured tulips.  From the photograph we can see they wore veils and long gloves.  It is easy to see why the Bridport News described them as a striking and picturesque picture.


After the service, the reception was held in the Public (Town) Hall for over 150 guests, representative of all sections of the community and a very pleasant hour was spent in social intercourse.

The Bridport News lists a few of the guests, which included Lieut-Col. And Mrs T. A Colfox, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bridport (Mr & Mrs F. Weeks) and the list goes on.  May's little handwritten notebook gives us over 300 people who were invited to the wedding.

[caption id="attachment_257" align="aligncenter" width="840"]

Hall set out for a wedding reception
Hall laid for the guests, wedding cake in the foreground and some of their presents at the back

Mrs M. Toman of South Street, Beaminster was responsible for the catering and the four-tier wedding cake.  The hall and tables were decorated very prettily and displayed were the couples wedding presents, numbering close upon 200 were a handsome and costly character. The Bride and Bridegroom exchanged gifts, an armchair for Fred and a cheque for May.  From the photograph I can see several items that I have inherited, including a little silver posy vase that topped my wedding cake.

The health of the bride and groom was proposed by Canon Hutchings, who enumerated the excellent qualities of the young people and their respective families.  Mr Tom House, the groom's father proposed the health of the bridesmaids and Lieut.-Col. Colfox proposed a toast to both the bride and groom's parents.  Grandad Beck duly acknowledged the toast.

The newly married pair left for their honeymoon with May wearing a fawn three piece suit.

All original content by Sylvia Collins is copyright protected.

References Quotes in Italics:
Bridport News 1925 May 8 p8 The headline was "Popular Wedding at Beaminster"


  1. What a lovely post, Sylvia. I'm always amazed at the amount of information reported about weddings in the old newspapers. Such a great resource.

  2. Love hearing about the family and Wytherston Farm, I must try and locate the photos I took in the late 60's when I made a very short visit there. Did any of the Legg relatives attend?

  3. Yes, Aunty Beatrice (Mrs Legg), her daughter Olive, and Olive's husband (Mr & Mrs Godwin) were invited and most likely went to the wedding. The invitations to Aunty Bea and Olive were sent to 208 Spring Rd, Sholing, Southampton.

  4. Thank you Shelley, I am really lucky to have the Bridport News, as far as I am aware this is the only area in Dorset that has a local paper. I still buy a copy each week! The local library has both hard copies and microfiche (film) but they are not indexed so take a lot of time to got through. I know I have missed some stories because of lack of time.

  5. Have just discovered this post by accident, it's fascinating. Your Grandfather's sister (Martha Ann Prideaux nee House, known as Edie) was my Grandmother which makes us first cousins once removed by my reckoning! Anstis Prideaux her daughter (the bridesmaid on the left) was my aunt. My mother, Edie's second daughter, was born in 1926. I have heard about May from my mother and aunt and how lovely she was and how sad it was when she died. Presumably your father and uncle were Osborne and Jackson House, my mother's cousins whom I have met though not recently. After your grandmother May died I think my grandmother was involved in helping to look after them.

  6. Bridget, thank you for leaving a comment, it is lovely to hear from you. It is exciting to hear from family members and others through this blog.

    Yes, your Grandmother, Aunt Edith did help to bring my father Jackson, Osborne and Marion up after my Grandmother May died. I have heard a few stories about her from my parents and others in the family. Aunt Edith spent part of the week in Weymouth with her own family and 3 days a week at Wytherstone with Grandad House and his children. I am going to send you an email, do let me know if you don't receive it.


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