This lovely photograph has been shared with us by Rhyl History Club member, Richard Evans. It shows the wedding of Mary Ellen (May) Evans to William George Gardner, a Post Office clerk of Manchester. They married at the Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Chapel, Water Street, Rhyl on May 11th, 1912. The photograph is taken outside the home of the bride’s elder sister Sarah Anne, and her husband William Robert Maurice Parry, 41 Aquarium Street, Rhyl.
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The photograph is wonderfully evocative of the Edwardian era, which began after Edward v11 succeeded Queen Victoria in 1901. Although Edward reigned until just 1910, Edwardian times are generally regarded as lasting until WW1. Sometimes called the golden age or “gilded age” it was sandwiched between the Boer War (1899-1902) and the first World War. It has also been referred to as the long hot Indian Summer (between Queen Victoria and ww1) and the long Edwardian afternoon.
The house in Aquarium Street is quite possibly the one shown in this photograph (house on the right), although there is a chance that the houses have been renumbered since 1912.
The bride, May Evans, was the cousin of Richard’s grandfather, also Richard Evans. To read more about Richard’s grandfather, who was killed in ww1, click here.
The report in the local paper describes the wedding, even going into such detail as the gifts that were bought for the happy couple and by whom. It makes very interesting reading.
“On Monday a pretty wedding was solemnised at the Welsh Baptist Chapel in the presence of a large congregation, the contracting parties being Miss May Evans, daughter of Mr and Mrs. Evans,”Ferndale” Osborne Grove and Mr. William Gardner, Manchester. The bride, who was beautifully attired and carried a magnificent bouquet, was given away by her father, and was also attended by Miss Annie May Parry and Miss Marie Gardner as bridesmaids, who were charmingly dressed and carried bouquets, which, like that of the bride, were gifts of the bridegreoom. Two little girls also carried baskets laden with flowers-Miss Frances Evans, Liverpool, and Miss Carrie Evans. The duties of the best man were carried out by Mr. Bert Jenkins, Fenton. Mr. R. Trebor Jones acted as M.C., and Mr. Phil Trehearn played selections on the organ, including the Wedding March. The ceremony over, the wedding party was photographed by Mr. Wills Jones, and afterwards over 50 guests sat down to an excellent repast at 41, Aquarium Street.
Appropriate speeches were made by all the gentlemen present, and afterwards the happy couple left for Carnarvonshire (sic) for their honeymoon. the catering was in the hands of Messrs. Prichard & Lee, confectioners. The wedding presents were as follows:
Bridegroom to Bride – gold bangle
Bride to Bridegroom – gold signet ring
Bridegroom to Bridesmaids – gold brooches
Father of the Bride – bedroom suite
Mother of the Bride – household linen etc.
Mr G. Ll.Evans (brother) – cheque
Mr and Mrs Wm. R. M. Parry – eiderdown quilt
Father of the Bridegroom – pair hand painted mirror pictures
Mother of the Bridegroom – marble clock
Mr. Ted Gardner – silver teapot
Master Harold Parry – case of cutlery
Master Clifford Parry – teapot
Miss Marie Gardner – afternoon tea cloth and d’oyleys
Miss Bell Gardner and Friend – tablecloth and table centre
Mr and Mrs Newman (Llandudno) – trinket set
Mr and Mrs Denning – case of fish knives and forks
Mr and Mrs J. O. Evans (Liverpool) – fish carvers
Mr and Mrs Allen Evans – half-dozen linen pillow slips
Mr and Mrs Abbot – hand made afternoon tea cloth
Miss C. Evans (Abergele) – pair of vases
Mr and Mrs Poulson – tea service
Mr and Mrs Robt Lloyd – pair of engravings
Mrs Jones (London) – cheque
Mr and Miss Parry (Abbey Street)-bedroom ware
Miss Sarah Evans – cheese dish
Mr David Henry Lloyd – half-dozen wine glasses
Miss Denman (Colwyn Bay) – marmalade jar
Young Peoples’ Society (Tabernacle) – silver cake stand
Rev. T. M. Reed and Mrs Reed – fruit dish
Mr and Mrs E. Jones and Mr Tebor Jones – salad bowl and servers
Miss Heath – silver sugar scoop
Mr and Mrs Roger Price – silver sardine dish
Mrs and Miss White (Fenton) – tea service
Mr Bert Jenkins – dinner service
Mr and Mrs Griffiths (Bangor) – trinket set
Rev. John Roberts and Mrs Roberts – crumb brush and tray.
Mr and Mrs Phil Trehearn – down quilt
Miss Lumley Griffiths – fruit dish
Mr R. A. Griffiths – fish servers
Mrs Corfield and Miss Griffiths – white counterpane
Miss Lewis and Mr Ted Jones – case of silver tea spoons and sugar tongs
Mr and Mrs Wm. Humphreys (Manchester) – pair of blankets
Miss Jennie Owen – silver flower stand
Miss Ruth Lloyd – copper flower vase
Mr and Mrs Edwards, Compton House – silk umbrella
Miss May Hannaby – teapot and stand
Miss Jenkins (Abergele) – trinket set
Mr Hughes (Albert Street) – breakfast cruet
Mr and Mrs Pritchard – ruby and silver sugar bowl
Mr Ryles Jones – antique vases
Miss Trehearn – rose bowl
Miss Hughes (Abbey Street) – flower vase
Mrs Pepper – hand made lace etc.”