BOLTON Museum is planning to celebrate the work of a local woman who made the wedding dresses which graced the big day for many local brides.

Anne Cecilia Hind was known as Poppy Hind, and had a successful career which spanned five decades.

Daniel Smith, keeper of social history at the museum, tells me they recently received a large collection of old photographs featuring Poppy's work.

"These provide a wonderful record of wedding dresses worn by Bolton brides from the 1920s to the late 1960s," he says.

But the museum does not have any of Poppy's dresses in its costume collection, and it would like to acquire some.

Some of the photographs and a short biography will go on display at the museum on March 5 to celebrate International Women's Day.

Mr Smith says Poppy began making and selling hats from her parents' home when she was 15, and by the early 1920s she was working as a dressmaker and employing four women.

After marrying Hiram Heaton in 1925, the couple rented 44 Bark Street. With larger premises, she was able to employ 16 women.

Mr Smith goes on: "At this time there was not a lot of choice for women buying off the peg, so Poppy's business was in high demand.

"Poppy kept up-to-date with all the latest in fashions, and did all the fabric-buying.

"She had some training in pattern making, but her experience and artistic ability - she had won a scholarship to art school, but did not take it - led her to work freehand with her tailor's chalk directly on the material.

As well as the bride's dress, Poppy could supply bridesmaids' and matron of honour dresses."

Poppy continued to work until the Bark Street building was demolished to make way, eventually, for the Market Place development. She died in October, 1971.

If anybody has a Poppy Hind dress which they would like to donate to the museum, they should contact Mr Smith on 01204 332213 or email him on