By Viv Wilson in Life at The Hall, Growing Up In a Stately Home | 7 days ago
HERE COMES THE BRIDE (Part 2): And so our wedding day 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 get to 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 in 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 a ‘Derek’. 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 walked out into the ...
By Viv Wilson in Life at The Hall, Growing Up In a Stately Home | 10th May 2019
HERE COMES THE BRIDE (Part 1): Now that my dad was having to move out of the Hall we had decided to bring our wedding forward so that we could get married in the church 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! 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 he offered to see his soli...
By Viv Wilson in Life at The Hall, Growing Up In a Stately Home | 06th May 2019
THE TAX MAN COMETH: My parents’ court case was finally over and my dad had six months to leave the house. In the meantime my mum had to find the funds to buy him out and he had to find another house to live in. He also had an awful lot of stuff to move too! He eventually found a house in nearby Burton-on-Trent but as it was obviously a lot smaller he had to get rid of a lot of his possessions and one of the first things to go was his Lotus Elite. He advertised it in the local paper but instead of getting a phone call from a likely buyer, the first call was from the local tax office. Back in those days they used to check advertisements in the newspapers and they had spotted this expensive car for sale and thought they would check it out. They actually thought it was my mum’s car and it transpired that they were keeping an eye on her. They didn’t know that my parents were getting a divorce so when they spoke to my dad he quickly informed them of that fact and told them that this was why he was selling his car. He also told them that she was making loads of money from the banquets; money which he had no access to.
This then led to a few meetings between the tax man and my dad. Of course, my dad was in his element thinking of more ways to get his revenge on my mum! What better way than to shop her to the tax people. He knew that she didn’t tell them exactly how many guests came to the banquets each week. It was usually around 200-240 but I think the tax office were told slightly less than that! My dad was happy to tell them that my mum always did the book-keeping as he was useless at that sort of thing and so he feigned ignorance!
I have always kept a diary and during the time of the banquets I used to keep accurate records of how many people came along to them. When I told this to my dad he jumped up and down in glee and quickly informed the tax office! A meeting was arranged with them and I went along with my dad (a...