Peter and Anne's Wedding
Below are photographs of Anne and Peter's wedding which took place in Knottingley Parish Church on July 24th, 1976. Click on the thumbnails to bring up a larger image.
The following is taken from Peter's diary written at the time and details his memories of wedding day:
Saturday July 24th, 1976
Probably the most important day of my life and certainly the one that has meant the most to me and will mean a completely different style of living from now on... In short my wedding day.
Despite all the impending excitement I slept well and only got up half an hour earlier than in the past two days. I had a bath and then put my old clothes on and had breakfast.
Everybody seemed to think I should have felt nervous, but at that point I certainly didn't. While Mike, Jeannette*, Jim and Sandra+ got ready I quietly read a book and it wasn't until I finished off getting ready and got my suit on that the nerves started.
I was ready by 10.30 a.m and that meant walking round and round the house trying to kill time before setting out at 11 a.m.
We took both cars to the Darrington**. Mine was being hidden away and Mike followed to pick me up and take me back to Knottingley.++
It was when we were halfway back that I realised I had left my camera in the car. So Mike dropped Jeannette, Sandra and Jim off at the church and we quickly went back to Darrington. By the time we got back to the church we were still on time and it was 11.45 a.m.
The first thing was to go into the vestry and pay the fees and then we took up our places at the front.
Anne was just about on time and looked pretty in a nice wedding dress. I had bad nerves just before the service, but once it got going I was okay. In fact it was all slightly hazy to me as if everything was slightly unreal, although of course it is a unique occasion which will never be repeated.
After the ceremony there were plenty of pictures to be taken by the official photographer and all the friends and relations. In fact there must have been well over 100 people in the church.
The photographer took ages, but eventually we got away and drove in Peter's*** car to the Darrington for the reception. It was quite nice there although of course still being in something of a daze it was impossible trying to take it all in and get round to meeting everyone. We tried our best, however.
First was a sherry reception on the lawn and then we went in for dinner. The meal itself was excellent, plenty of good hot food. Eventually we got to the speeches. There was a funny one by Peter, a nervous one by me and Mikes (I'll pay him back for that in four weeks' time)+++
By that time it was time to leave and unfortunately was pouring with rain. It was an isolated shower though and by the time we got back to Knottingley it had stopped. Luckily the weather for the service was nice and bright without being too hot. We drove back to Anne's after I had picked my car up. Loads of people followed and came home for tea. By the time we got there it was hectic once again trying to see everyone and grabbing some tea.
By the time we had taken the toilet rolls out of the car (about the only trick the multitudes played) it was 5.45 p.m when we set off on our honeymoon. During the day Malcolm Robertson had said it would take six hours to Scotland. That was a daunting prospect, but luckily four was nearer the mark although the drive was still long enough and we were both very tired.
We found Peebles without much trouble and when we got there asked a bloke the whereabouts of the Cringletien Hotel. Co-incidentally he saw my Beccles sticker**** on the back and told us he had been stationed there in the war.
With his directions we had no trouble finding the place. It was a big rambling building in the country and quite superb. We clocked in and ordered a pot of tea for our room and then went to bed after washing for our first night together as man and wife.
Order of Service
The order of service was as follows:
Entry of the Bride:
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" (Brooker/Reid)
Thou God of truth and love
We seek they perfect way
Ready Thy choice to approve
Thy providence to obey:
Enter into thy wise design
And sweetly lose our will in Thine.
Why hast Thou cast our lot
In the same age and place
And why together brought
To see each other's face.
To join with loving sympathy
And mix our friendly souls in Thee?
Didst thou not make us one
That we might one remain.
Together travel on
And bear each other's pain;
Till all thy utmost goodness prove
And rise renewed in perfect love.
Then let us ever bear
The blessed end in view
And join, with mutual care
To fight our passage through
And kindly help each other on
Till all receive the starry crown.
O may Thy Spirit seal
Our souls unto that day
With all Thy fullness fill
And then transport away
Away to our eternal rest
Away to our Redeemer's breast.
THE SIGNING OF THE REGISTERS
O Perfect love all human thoughts transcending
Lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne.
That theirs may be the love which knows no ending
Whom Thou for evermore dost join in one.
O perfect life, be thou their full assurance
Of tender charity and steadfast faith
Of patient hope and quiet brave endurance
With childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.
Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow
Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife
And to life's day the glorious unknown morrow
That dawns upon eternal love and life.
BIBLE READING: Philippians 4, vv 8-9
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Lord Jesus Christ
You have come to us
You are one with us
Cleansing our souls from all their sin
Pouring your love and goodness in
Jesus our love for you we sing
Lord Jesus Christ
Now and every day
Teach us how to pray
Son of God
You have commanded us to do
This in remembrance, Lord of you
Into our lives your power breaks through
Lord Jesus Christ
You have come to us
Born as one of us
Led out to die on Calvary
Risen from death to set us free
Living Lord Jesus help us to see
You are Lord
Lord Jesus Christ
I would come to you
Live my life for you
Son of God
All your commands I know are true
Your many gifts will make me new
Into my life your power breaks through
Wedding March - Mendelssohn
NOTES* - Mike and Jeannette were Mike and Jeannette Smith from Norwich. Mike was Best Man and an old school friend. I understand from having lunch with Mike a couple of years ago that they are now divorced and he has remarried.
+ - Jim and Sandra were Jim and Sandra Akin from Garforth, Yorkshire where I stayed on my final "night of freedom." Sadly they too subsequently divorced. Sandra now lives in York.
** - Our wedding reception was at the Darrington Hotel, Darrington, in West Yorkshire.
++ - Knottingley. The Town in West Yorkshire where Anne comes from and where we were married in the parish church. I think we had the luxury of three Ministers at our service - The Rev Stuart Pearson who was vicar of Knottingley, the Rev Ralph Lowery who was Knottingley's Methodist Minister and the Rev Mike Wedgeworth, who had been a chaplain and friend of Anne's from her days studying at the University of East Anglia.
*** - Peter was Peter Harris who became my brother in law. He is the husband of Anne's sister Joan. Joan sadly died a number of years ago. Peter still lives in Adwick-Le-Street just outside Doncaster and we see him regularly
+++ - Mike and Jeannette were married in Norwich a month later and I was Best Man.
**** - At the time of our wedding I worked and lived in Beccles, Suffolk, on the Beccles and Bungay and Eastern Daily Press newspapers.
Looking back at this diary entry as we approach our ruby wedding (40 years) I am amazed by the matter-of-fact way that I looked at the day.
Understatement is probably the word I'm looking for here. There is no description of the wedding service and very little of the reception.
Even today my memory of the day is still hazy. I remember it went very quickly. The diary entry spends quite some time explaining silly irrelevant matters such as leaving the camera in the car, but missing out important facts such as the matter of being married by three members of the clergy.
So to put things right here are the facts as I remember them. Anne was, and still is, an active Methodist. The Methodist chapel in Knottingley had been pulled down and worship was conducted in a hall (it still is).
Obviously she did not want to be married in a hall and so we went to the parish church which is set in its own grounds. The service was conducted by the vicar The Rev Stuart Pearson, the Methodist Minister The Rev Ralph Lowery and another Methodist Minister the Rev Michael Wedgeworth.
I remember chatting to Stuart Pearson before the day and he told us amazing stories about the England cricketer Geoff Boycott who lived a few miles away. Mike Wedgeworth was a friend of Anne's from University and I remember often discussing politics with him. He lived at Barnsley and we still receive Christmas cards from him and his wife and family.
I believe he was a chaplain at the University of East Anglia when Anne was studying there. He subsequently dabbled in politics before becoming chief executive of one of the northern councils. Ralph Lowery was the local Methodist Minister.
I remember spending the night before the wedding on a temporary bed in Jim and Sandra's lounge. Jim and Sandra subsequently divorced many years later. We still keep in touch with Sandra.
I cannot remember much about the service at all. I mainly remember what Anne looked like because I have a photograph of her on her wedding day in our bedroom. I remember my mother and father missing part of the sherry reception after getting lost trying to find Darrington. It shouldn't have been difficult because the hotel was just a few miles down the main A1. Today it is by-passed.
Two other guests - George and Allison Perrin - missed the service because they went to the wrong church and, not knowing anybody, assumed they were at the right one until the wrong bride and groom arrived!
I remember the rain and the afternoon tea whilst many of us watched Knottingley play cricket on the field opposite where Anne was brought up. I remember virtually nothing about the drive to Scotland. I do remember that I gave the day a mark of 10 out of 10 so it must have been very special.
Almost 40 years on myself and Anne are still together. We have
two sons and two wonderful grandchildren. Our wedding album was lost
for a number of years but re-surfaced when I was tidying up the
study. The photos in our wedding album are of poor quality thanks to
the mists of time and the problems of scanning them into the