Today, 23rd February 2017 is my wedding anniversary. Jon and I have been married 37 years.
When we moved into our new house, my Dad bought me a car radio for Christmas and then told me he couldn’t fit it. He sent me next door as their son was always tinkering with his car in the drive.
We arranged a date for him to git it and I sat in the car while he put it in. We chatted and he said he believed I wanted to go and see a Manchester United football match at the nearby Old Trafford Stadium, which I did.
It was the end of January 1978. After the match, he arranged a proper date and we went into town to see The Choirboys, but when we got there, it was full and instead, we watched Clint Eastward in The Gauntlet.
It took me quite a while to realise that Dad had been tinkering with cars and fitting radios for years. And of course, he engineered the football match, too.
By July, I knew Jon was going propose, but I didn’t know if I was ready and was afraid of saying no. So each night he picked me up from work, as usual and parked the car outside our houses. Sometimes he just turned the radio down, other times he’d cleared his throat and looked at me and another time he actually said, I’ve got something to ask you. Each time, I panicked, remembered I had something to do and ran in the house.
Eventually, we were at a party, he plied me with drinks and proposed. I said yes and we didn’t speak of it again until the following morning. He then asked if I remembered what we had spoken about and did I still want to. I realised I did.
We announced our engagement the following December and were married in 1980 at the church my family had gone to when we were children.
I wasn’t nervous about my wedding at all. The day before I remember walking to the shops singing: ‘I’m getting married in the morning, ding dong the bells are gonna ring.‘ I was so happy.
It wasn’t till the church doors opened and I saw all my family and friends that my legs turned to jelly. I got through my vows as my bouquet visible shook and I do remember when the minister gave my husband’s full name – which all ended in a than, son, and man – hearing my five brides sniggering.
A lovely wedding reception followed in a pub that burnt down some years later.
As an interesting side note, I found this on the Manchester Evening New website dated April 2010. The man pictured was church secretary when I was a child and he even came with his wife to my wedding.
CHURCH RECLAIMS ITS HOLY GRAIL
A historic silver chalice, which vanished from a church 15 years ago, has been returned after a woman turned detective.
Members of Christ Church URC in Withington, Manchester, thought precious silverware, dating back to 1828, was lost forever after it was stolen in 1993.
The items were found 10 years ago, but because the church had changed its name, they were never reunited with their owners.
Two items, used for Holy Communion, are engraved with the name Christ Church, Rusholme, for which they were made for in the early 19th century.
The smaller plate is engraved Parrs Wood Road Congregational Church, the original name of Christ Church URC when it opened in 1928.
They were all gifts to mark the 1928 opening of the URC in Parrs Wood Road in 1928, from congregations in Rusholme and Heaton Mersey, Stockport.
Unknown to church members, they were found abandoned on a railway line near East Didsbury station by rail manager Russell Marshall 10 years ago.
He handed them to police, who returned them to Russell three months later unaware that the church had been given a different name in the 1940s.
They had been gathering dust in his attic ever since. But Russell’s sister-in-law Debbie Marshall was finally able to solve the mystery after he gave her the silver items when he moved to a new house in Wythenshawe.
Debbie turned detective and found out that the name on the church inscribed on the silverware was connected to Christ Church URC.
And now the cherished items have been handed back to parishioners by Debbie. The church plans to re-silver the chalice and the two plates found with it, and hold a special re-dedication ceremony so they can once again be used in Communion services.
Church member Roger Smith said he ‘couldn’t believe his ears’ when he received a phone call from Debbie saying she had found them.
He said: “It’s quite incredible to have these items back after so long. We are all absolutely delighted because they mean so much to the church.”
Pharmacy worker Debbie, 40, who lives in Altrincham with husband Adam, went to the church to present the silver to parishioners.
She said: “One gentleman had tears in his eyes when he saw the chalice and plates again after all these years.
“He told me it was better than getting £1m. It was a bit strange the police couldn’t trace the church 10 years ago. Some people who found silver would have just tried to sell it, but I thought it right to give it back.”
I remember the people mentioned in the article and Parrs Wood Road Congregational church, as it was known then, was a real family church where people started out as children and grew old still attending. (Except we moved out of the area.)
There were lots of activities and I was in the church play and concert. There was a youth club, girl guides, social evenings, jumble sales and Rose Queens all held in the church hall.
It was the most stable few years of my childhood and I have stories and memories from those days which I may one day share.
This picture shows me (on the right) as a Lady In Waiting to the Rose Queen. I was 15 years old, I’d just got a boyfriend who rode a motor bike and was so embarrassed when my Mum made me do this! I don’t think I ever told him!
Three years later my little sister was the Rose Bud Queen and it was a big family occasion as we all attended.