By Viv Wilson in Life at The Hall, Growing Up In a Stately Home | 3 days ago
MOVING OUT: And so the day arrived a month or so after our wedding when my dad had to leave Hoar Cross Hall. Ten years after moving in he was now moving out, leaving his dream home for my mum to live in alone. Gavin moved with him and Piers was away at school most of the time. It was a mammoth task as he had so much stuff to move, especially from the basement. He had some heavy machinery too that he’d brought with him from his alabaster days, including a band saw which we used to saw up logs for the huge fireplaces in the main rooms. He had bought a house in nearby Burton-on-Trent which had some outbuildings for a workshop and there he moved to start afresh.
He carried on buying and selling antiques and often went to antiques fairs and sale rooms with his friends. He also continued with the go-karting with Gavin and this kept them busy at weekends. However, the whole experience had left him very bitter and he would constantly talk about it whenever we went round to see him, making visits fraught with tension!
However, we carried on with our lives as newly-weds and bought a house in a nearby village. It was completely empty and needed an oven and washing machine amongst other things. My dad was keen to help and offered to buy anything he saw at a sale room as he knew he could get them cheap; and that was how we ended up with a 1950s style twin tub washing machine! Well, it matched the age of the house I suppose! Many a week whilst washing, I cursed my dad for buying it as it always broke down and flooded the kitchen – eventually we threw it out!
A little while later we went to an auction at a large farmhouse that was quite local to us and because of the interesting ‘lots’ it had, quite a few of our well-to-do friends were there too. My dad was also there and told us he’d bought an oven for our new house. He couldn’t wait to tell us that it had only cost him £1. Even in those days £1 was ridiculously cheap, especially for an oven! He said it wa...
By Viv Wilson in Life at The Hall, Growing Up In a Stately Home | 30th March 2020
HERE COMES THE BRIDE (Part 2): And so our wedding day at Hoar Cross Hall arrived bright and clear, all thoughts of solicitors, legals, fights and arrests behind us! Myself and my bridesmaids went to get our hair done in the morning and Kev slapped a piece of steak on his jaw to bring the swelling down after the rather unfortunate fight at his stag do. Fortunately, the bruise didn’t show up too much on the photos! Gavin drove my dad’s Mercedes Benz car all the way down the drive and back up the road to the church – this was one of the drawbacks of having a church in your grounds; you don’t have a nice long drive all through the town with everyone looking at you! Never mind, a small crowd of locals were gathered around the gate to the church and we got out, had a few photos taken and walked down the aisle to ‘Here comes the bride’.
However, as Kev had not attended the rehearsal (remember, he was fixing someone’s shower!), he didn’t have a clue what was going on or where to stand or anything! When we came to say our vows, the vicar got his name wrong and so I nearly married ‘Derek’ instead of Kevin! There was much whispering at the front as we told him the correct name. Again, when I put my ring on the Bible, the vicar thought it was two rings as I had a Russian wedding ring with three bands. He started to say ‘with these rings……’ and once again, there was much whispering at the front as we explained that it was only one ring!
And then, just as we were on our knees to receive the blessing, Chris Meek (my dad’s old racing driver) walked in with a beautiful model on his arm. She was wearing a short cheesecloth dress and with the sun behind her it was completely see through! Anyone who remembers the Lady Di photo will know what I mean! We heard a sharp intake of breath as the whole congregation turned to face the door – talk about upstaging the bride!
Finally, the ceremony was over and I was married to Kev (not Derek) and as we ...
By Viv Wilson in Life at The Hall, Growing Up In a Stately Home | 23rd March 2020
HERE COMES THE BRIDE (Part 1) After the court case my dad was given 3 months to move out of Hoar Cross Hall. We had decided to bring our wedding forward so that we could get married in the Church of the Holy Angels in the grounds and then have the reception afterwards in the Hall, which was after all our family home. The wedding preparations were going quite well and as we knew lots of musicians it wasn’t hard to find a local band and a DJ to do the disco. A friend of my dad’s offered to do the catering and the bar was set up with plenty of kegs from the local brewery in Burton on Trent. I had two bridesmaids and we all went to Birmingham one day to choose our dresses and shoes – it was all kept very simple really as I had no help or advice from my mum as most brides do. Kev’s parents had eloped after the war and got married in a register office with two witnesses dragged off the street, so they had no idea what you did to plan a wedding either! I managed to find a church near to Kev’s house and sorted out the reading of the banns. Then we went to the vicarage across the road from my house and booked the date. The vicar told us in no uncertain terms that he would expect us to be there when the banns were read. However, as we never got up before lunch on a Sunday, try as we might, we never actually managed to hear our own banns being read!
It was almost as bad at the wedding rehearsal. I went to the church with my dad and the two bridesmaids but Kev never managed to get there as he was fitting a shower for someone! I don’t think the vicar was very impressed with us!
The nearer it got to our wedding date the more we worried about my mum turning up. It wasn’t that I didn’t want her there but that my dad told us we couldn’t possibly have her there as he would ‘see red’ and a row would ensue. We really didn’t want a huge argument on our wedding day but knowing my dad’s temper we weren’t sure that he would be able to control himself so...