Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Percy and Nellie : Centenary Anniversary

Happy New Year to everyone! While we are all busy making resolutions for the year ahead I wanted to share something special with you. Today is a very special day in my family history calendar as it marks the centenary of the wedding day of my great-grandparents Percy Preston and Nellie Jolly.

Percy and Nellie were the last of my great-grandparents to marry (Before them, my other great-grandparents married in 1905, 1907 and 1909). Percy and Nellie were married at Holy Trinity Church in Trinity Street, Bungay (Suffolk, England) on 1 January 1913. The day would have been a Wednesday. I don't know what sort of weather they had but being winter, it would have been mightily cold. The following week saw recordings of heavy snowfall across the north of England.

Nellie would have perhaps worn a hand sewn dress (a collaborative effort with her older sister, Alice or one of her sisters-in-law?) made of warm fabric, with lace and/or embroidery detail, with long sleeves and possibly even a long coat to keep her warm during the walk to and from the church. Perhaps she wore a gown which had been passed down from somebody in the family. While it would not have been as expensive or elaborate as the one worn by Princess Patricia of Connaught (seen pictued below), I am certain that Nellie would have looked equally as beautiful.

Example of a late Edwardian Wedding Dress
Edwardian Era Hairstyles
No known photographs exist of Percy and Nellie's wedding day, so I do not know what Nellie would have worn on her wedding day. I can only speculate. However, I like to imagine her walking from her home in Gas House Lane to nearby Trinity Street, and walking with her father, William Jolly, along the stone pathway which leads into the church. It is so heartbreaking that there are no known photographs of Percy and Nellie together, in existence, at any time. I have plenty of photographs of Nellie with her children and Nellie with her brothers but not one single photograph of Nellie with her husband. When Percy died in 1936, Nellie remained a widow for the rest of her life and she always wore navy coloured clothes.

Postcard: Wrench Series
From the Bungay & District Town Guide 1971


Holy Trinity Church History
Holy Trinity Church dates back to Saxon times when the tower was dated at around 1041 with the nave being added about 100 years later. The dormer window in the roof was created in Victorian times to light the organ loft when the organ was installed. The south aisle is fourteenth century, and the chancel was built in 1926. The pulpit was recorded as being set up in 1558 (which cost all of 10 shillings). This is an account from the Suffolk Institute of Archeaology Vol. IV:
"That this tower is old for a round tower will not be doubte by those who examine the interior. The original design appears to have consisted of four circular windows, and directly under each of these (except that which faces the east) a semi-circular-headed window.
There is nothing in the poor Perpendicular architecture of the Church which calls for special notice. A payment was made for erecting a Screen in the Chancel in 1558. As to the conjecture that the original Chancel perished in the fire of 1688, it is certain that there was a chancel, mutilated indeed by the "improvements" of 1754, when the present tasteful east window was erected - but nevertheless a chancel..."

Postcard: HW Short

The 1912 Kelly's Directory describes Holy Trinity Church thus:
"The Church of the Holy Trinity, supposed to have been built in the eleventh century, is an edifice of rubble, faced on the south side with flints, in the Norman style, and consists of nave and aisles (without chancel), south porch and a round embattled western tower...The pulpit of black oak is a very fine example of Elizabethan work. There are 420 sittings, of which 125 are free..."

The Churchwardens' Book of Holy Trinity also makes for very interesting reading but this one rendered me most curious:
1581. Paid for whipping the dogs out of the churche for a whole year, 1/4.

I wonder, did that include the legendary Black Shuck?

My Great-Grandmother Nellie Jolly, aged 12-15

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