A look back at Woolacombe Weddings

With the wedding season in full swing, we take a look at some of the weddings that Woolacombe & Mortehoe have over the years. All were reported in the local newspapers, and make for an interesitng read.

A 1912 Wedding at Woolacombe

A wedding which aroused a great deal of interest was solemnised on Wednesday at St Mary’s, Mortehoe, the contracting parties being Mary Annie, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cowler, of Holmesdale, and Mr. W. H. only son of the late Mr. Tolman and Mrs. Tolman, of Ilfracombe. A large number of relatives and friends assembled in the Church. Mr. J. Cowler (father of the bride) gave away the bride, who was prettily dressed in cream cashmere, trimmed with pearls and lace, and wore orange blossom wreath and veil. She carried a shower bouquet of lilies and tulips. The bridesmaids—who looked exceedingly well in dresses of blue, and black picture hats, and wore gold jewellery (the gifts of the bridegroom)— were Miss Ivy Cowler, Miss E. Tolman, and Miss Emma Ashford. The bridegroom was attended by Mr. W. Gammon, of Mortehoe, as best man. Subsequently there was a wedding breakfast at Holmesdale, and during tbe afternoon the newlymarried pair left amid a shower of confetti and slippers for Plymouth, where the honeymoon is to be spent. Bride’s travelling dress was emerald cloth, with black picture hat.

  • The bride and bridegroom were the recipients of handsome gifts as follows :
  • Bride’s father and mother, cheque and piano.
  • Bride’s sister (Miss Ivy Cowler), furs.
  • Charlie, silver sauce and mustard spoons.
  • Bridegroom’s mother, cheque.
  • Mr. and Mrs Ashford, polished walnut hall clock.
  • Mrs. Harris, flower vase.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Young, brass lamp.
  • Mr. and Mrs Simons, tablecloth.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hocking, tablecloth.
  • Mr and Mrs. Stewart, tablecloth.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Dyer, tablecloth.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Winter, afternoon teacloth.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt, afternoon teacloth.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, teacloth.
  • Miss L. Granger, teacloth.
  • Mrs. Shaw, linen pillow cases.
  • Miss Mole, book table centre.
  • Mr. and Mrs. S. Ashford and family, Barum fern holder and spill.
  • Master R. Purvey, Barum vase.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. Pile, cheque.
  • Miss D Trevle, bread knife and board.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Salisbury, rug.
  • Miss E. Gammon, egg cups,
  • Mr. and Mrs. Butler, pair candlesticks and photo frames.
  • Mr. C. Bear, letter rack.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, biscuit barrel.
  • Misses Cross, inlaid tea tray.
  • Miss K. Mole, cruet.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Burt, cruet.
  • Mr. W. Cole, cruet.
  • F. and K. Ellis, crumb brush and tray.’
  • Miss Davis, butter dish and spoon.
  • Miss Cole, fish carvers in case.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Watts, fruit servers.
  • Mr and Mrs. Row, carving knife and fork.
  • Mr. F. Nicholls, butter knife.
  • Miss Horwood, cake knife.
  • Mr. Coats, salt spoons.
  • Miss D. West, E.P, candlesticks.
  • Mr. F. Copp, clock.
  • Mrs. Redmore, E.P. dessert spoons.
  • Miss R. Knott, E P. soup ladles.
  • Bob David and Edward, afternoon teaspoons.
  • T. Dunn, mustard and salts.
  • Mr. Balment, honey pot.
  • Miss Prollins, dessert knives.
  • Miss Ashford. afternoon teaspoons.
  • Mr. and Mrs. P. Chugg, dessert forks.
  • Mr and Mrs. Beer, dessert knives.
  • Reg , Stanley, and Florrie, table spoons.
  • Mr: and Mrs. A. West, bolster and pillows.
  • Mrs. Pike, 2 plants.
  • Mrs. J. Bradley, pair vases.
  • Mrs. Fewings, bedroom towels.
  • Mrs. W. Pile, toilet set

What an impressive list!

They would not have been short of tablecloths, spoons or vases!

1898 Wedding at Mortehoe

Morthoe Church was the scene of a very pretty and interesting wedding on Tuesday morning, the contracting parties being the Rev. Clarence Edwin Ward, and Miss Nessie Coad, daughter of Mr. Richard Coad, of Morthoe, the great Temperance lecturer. The first carriage arrived with the bridegroom, attended by his best man (Rev. W. C. Williams), with Mrs. Coad (mother of the bride), and Mrs. Ward (mother of the bridegroom). The next carriage arrived shortly afterwards with the four bridesmaids, Miss Katie Coad (sister of the bride), Miss Mable Ward (sister of the bridegroom), Miss Restarick, and Miss Gertrude Stanbury. Last of all came tho bride, supported by her brother (Mr. Lawson Coad), who gave her away.

The bride was dressed in a handsome gown of ivory satin, with train prettily made, trimmed with orange blossom and chiffon. She wore a wreath of orange blossom with tulle veil. The bridesmaid, dresses consisted of white spotted muslin, daintily made, and were trimmed with lace plumes and pale blue sashes. They wore white felt hats, trimmed with feathers and velvet of the same colour. They all carried exquisite bouquets, the gifts of the bridegroom. Flowers were strewn in the path as the bridal pair left the church, and rice and confetti were thrown in showers as they entered the carriages. The village was gaily decorated with flags and bunting. On returning to Woolacombe, the party were photographed, and afterwards sat down to an ample and varied vegetarian wedding breakfast, which was much enjoyed, the novelty of a vegetarian wedding breakfast adding considerable interest to the proceedings of the day.

The Vicar proposed the health of the bride and bridegroom, testifying to the esteem in which, from his personal knowledge of several years, the bride was held, and from what he had seen and heard of the bridegroom, he felt assured that the union would prove a happy one. The bells rang out merrily at intervals during the day, and the happy pair left in the afternoon for London.

Friday 27 January 1939


The wedding took place at Woolacombe Methodist Church on Thursday, of Mr. Frederick Ernest Simpson, of Barton Road, Woolacombe, to Miss Ruth Pile, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Pile, The Barton. Woolacombe. The Rev. F. C. Diffey officiated, and Miss Ellis, at the organ, accompanied the singing of the hymns.

The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in gold embossed “satin, cut princess lines, with a small train, and long tight sleeves coming to a point over the hands; her veil to match was held in place by a coronet of tinted orange blossom and miniature lillies. She wore a gold necklace (the gift of the bridegroom) and carried a bouquet of pink carnations and trailing fern.

She was attended by her cousin, Miss M. Pile, who wore gold taffeta, cut on princess lines, with full skirt and long puff sleeves; her head-dress was a Juliet cap, and she carried posy anemoes. After a reception at the Barton the happy couple left to spend honeymoon on the South Coast, the bride travelling in brown Llamovel-curl coat, green angora frock and matching hat. The bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a bookcase. The bridegroom gave the bridesmaid a navy blue, calf handbag.

Among the presents received was a Pyrex dish on a silver stand, from the Methodist choir, of which the bride was a member

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