Celebration of weddings through the years
IN 1851 a young couple, Alice Asmough and Thomas Hart, from the village of Belmont, were the first people to get married in the newly-built St Peter’s Church.
Now, 162 years later, the church is putting on an exhibition to celebrate all the weddings that have taken place since then.
At the time, The Bolton Chronicle reported that “many a nymph and swain participated in the rejoicings of this auspicious occasion”.
And many more “nymphs and swains” will be able to enjoy the new exhibition, which will be based around 22 wedding dresses as well as many photographs and associated memorabilia.
The organisers are hoping to provide an insight into the changing styles of weddings through the ages.
One of the organisers, George Skinner, aged 66, said: “We are all very excited about the exhibition — we’ve been working hard on this for some time.
“The inspiration came from one of the parish council members who saw a similar event in Edinburgh.
“We think it will also be a really good bridge-builder for members of the community who perhaps don’t attend the church to come and see some of the things we are doing.”
The earliest dress on display belonged to Amy Rowell, who married Howard Hill in 1940, and another notable display dress was worn by Anna Coward, who married former Bolton Wanderers legend Jimmy Phillips in 1990.
One couple who will be going along to the weekend event is Gordon and Joyce Hurst.
In July The Bolton News reported on the pair’s 50th wedding anniversary — they both grew up in Belmont and were married at St Peter’s in 1963.
They still attend the church most Sunday’s and Mrs Hurst, aged 72, played the organ at the church for more than 40 years.
She said: “We will certainly be going along to the event at the church — it has a very special place in our history.
“It will be really interesting to see how things have changed from the day we got married up until today’s weddings.
The exhibition is taking place this weekend and will be open from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and 11am until 4pm on Bank Holiday Monday — on Sunday there will be a special all-age service at 10.30am, which will focus on the theme of marriage, with the exhibition open from 2pm until 4pm.
Refreshments will be available throughout the exhibition and there will be an opportunity to buy special postage stamps and postcards produced for the event.
Entrance will cost £3.50 per person with concessions charged £2.50 and all proceeds will be going to the fund to restore the church clock and bell tower.
For more information contact George Skinner on 01204811009.
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