Wedding days re-lived as hundreds view dresses

Some of the dresses on show. Photograph by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)
Some of the dresses on show. Photograph by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

Hundreds flocked to Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, last weekend to view a collection of 16 wedding dresses dating from 1940 to the present day.

Many were accompanied by family photographs and accessories. The oldest was loaned by Carol Forster from Uckfield.

Carol said: “My father’s sister, Florence McCullough, married a Cornishman named Francis James Phillips at Goidalming Parish Church, Surrey on March 25, 1940. They were happily married for 43 years and lived in Coverack in Cornwall.”

Another dress was worn twice, first in 1961 by Jean Judge when she married Frank on April 3 and again by her soon-to-be daughter in law, Madeleine in 1988. The dress was bought in 1960 from Bourne and Hollingsworth in Oxford Street, London.

Madeleine from Uckfield said: “My mother-in-law said she saw it in the window and fell in love with it immediately. In 1988 I was shown the wedding dress before I went out to look for my own and I fell in love with it straight away.

“Miraculously it fitted perfectly and I proudly wore it at my wedding on April 30, 1988, when I married Richard.”

Also on display were dresses from Fross Wedding Collections and Fross herself attended. A star of the show was a full-skirted dress with contrasting burgundy bodice worn by Heritage Education Officer and exhibition organiser Dr Maria Kirk at her own wedding in Lewes in 2011.

She said: “I wanted something a little different. My shoes had a red trim and my husband wore red trainers! Before Christmas we asked local people to lend dresses and they responded magnificently. We had many compliments about the show and dresses each with its own beautiful story.”

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