Bassingham & District WI (1935 - 2005)

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A Wedding Memories Exhibition

2005 marked the 90th anniversary of the Women's Institute in England and Wales. That year was also the 70th anniversary of Bassingham WI. To commemorate these two celebrations the WI staged this event at St Michael's Church, Bassingham by kind permission of the Village Church Council on Saturday 14th May and Sunday 15th May. Wedding memorabilia covering nine decades was beautifully displayed in perfect settings around the church.  A great deal of effort was put into setting up this exhibition by the WI and it is with pleasure that The Witham Staple displays an account and photographs of the event on this page. Many visited the displays at the time.  This is your opportunity to see what you missed or to revisit some of the exhibits once again.

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Irene Roddam, Bassingham WI President and one of the organizers of the event.

Thank you to everyone who has lent dresses and memorabilia for this exhibition and to WI members who have helped a variety of ways. Special thanks to Sandra Nelson, Pam D'Arcy, Barbara Smith, Aiison Kelley, Joy Kimpton and Irene Roddam who together worked extremely hard to get this exhibition up and running.

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1910's: This dress was worn by Margaret Hall (née Fraser) who was married in London during the First World War.


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1920's: A wedding outfit worn by Mrs Cyril Moore (mother of Beryl Hawthorn). The occasion was a wedding she attended in the summer of 1928 at St Peter's Church, Rock Ferry.


1930's: Wedding of Blanche (née Kelley) and George Bates in 1938 at St Michael's Church, Bassingham.

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1940's: Alice (née Matson) and Harry Taylor married on 1945 at the Bassingham Methodist Chapel. Alice joined the Women's Land Army and came to Bassingham from Hull in 1942. The wedding dress was second-hand and the veil was borrowed.


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(a) Vera (née Cottingham) and Reg Vasey married on 2nd September 1950 at Bassingham Methodist Chapel. The cost of Vera's suit is unknown, but the hat was 19s 6d and her shoes cost 1Os 11d. Their wedding cake was made by J W Welboume of Navenby.


(b) Pam (née French) and Ted D'Arcy married on 15th December 1951 at St Mark's Church, South Norwood, London, SE25.

(c) Bridesmaid dress worn by Marion Taylor at the wedding of Beryl and Les Poucher on 29th September 1956.

(d) Sonia and Maurice Richards married in 1959 in Nottinghamshire.

(e) Anne (née Watson) and Brian Tear married on 25th July 1959 at St Martin's Church, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.

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1960's: Valerie (née White) and Maurice Palling married on 27th September 1967 at St Michael's Church, Bassingham. Valerie's going away outfit is also displayed.


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1970's: Jean (née Scott) and Ian Adair married on 17th January 1970 at St Giles' Church, Lincoln.


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(a) Alison (née Kimpton) and Grahame Kelley married on 31st October 1981 at St Gabriel's Church, Walsall.


(b) Jane (née Cockburn) and Les Root married on 22nd April 1989 at St Michael's Church, Waddington.


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(a) Julia Roddam at her wedding on 7th July 1990 in Bromley, Kent.


(b) Dianne (née Nelson) and Andrew Atkin married on 12th July 1997 at All Sainrs Church, Stapleford


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(a) Nicola (née Hughes) and Gary Smith married on 26th July 2003 at St Michael's Church, Bassingham.


(b) Bridesmaid dress worn by Kimberley Atkin at the wedding of Kelly (née Smith) and Paul Summerfield on 15th June 2002 at St Michael's Church Bassingham [see photograph under 1990's - this is the dress on the left].

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At 4pm on Sunday 15th May, at the end of the exhibition there was a service in StMichael's to celebrate marriage and renewal of vows led by the Revd Nick Buck.

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This proved to be a popular and very interesting event, with a wonderful array of wedding outfits - not just the bride's dress but parents and bridesmaids too - representing every decade from the 1910s to the 2000s. There was also a wide range of memorabilia and delicious refreshments. Nikki Frost of Carlton-le-Moorland won the champagne and crystal wine glasses, and the weekend raised over £480. The Exhibition was put on by the Bassingham & District WI to celebrate both their 70th 'birthday' and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the WI movement: it was a good illustration of the way in which members work and play together and are involved in and with the community to the enjoyment of all. [WS June 2005]

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Background to Bassingham & District WI

Bassingham WI was formed in 1935 and originally met in the Comrades Hall on Lincoln Road (formerly the Carpet Warehouse/Caravan Park now Pinfold Close). 

Today this has become the Bassingham & District WI as membership also includes ladies from nearby villages.

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