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19 August, 2011

Wedding Day - Irene & Tom Hyde

Wedding Day - Irene & Tom Hyde

The sun was shining brightly on the day that Irene Mary Gowers was to walk down the aisle and marry the love of her life William Thomas Hyde and the day was made all the more special because their wedding would bring the two families together for the second time.

Rene’s uncle Laurie had married Tom’s Aunt Emily back in 1927 and it was at their house that the two of them first met, thanks to a little matchmaking.
Rene was best of friends with Emily and Laurie’s daughter Pat and the cousins would go everywhere together.
Tom was in the army at the time and whenever he was home on leave he would always go to visit his favourite Aunt and so it was that the two of them met and started to get to know each other.

They were both quite shy though and it took ages for Tom to pluck up the courage to ask Rene to walk out with him but eventually he did and their first date was an evening at the local picture house with cousin Pat tagging along because Rene was scared to go out with him on her own.

I’ve no idea how long they were engaged for but their wedding took place at Rene’s local church, St. Thomas’s in Becontree, Dagenham, Essex, on the 11th May 1946.
Her uncle Laurie gave her away because her father Frederick had passed away two years earlier and her bridesmaids were two of her sisters, Joan and Win, her cousin Pat and her brother Ron’s girlfriend at the time.

A small piece of trivia is that we believe the actor and song writer Dudley Moore played the organ at their wedding. Obviously it was a long time before he became famous but apparently as a young boy he sung in the choir at the church and to make himself some extra pocket money he would play the organ for weddings, so there’s all likelihood that he played at theirs.

Rene’s dress was beautiful, Ivory Satin with long sleeves that had tiny pearl buttons part way up the sides. The sleeves came to a point and had a loop that slipped over her middle finger.

I know so much about the dress because as a small child I was allowed to dress up in it which looking back now was a crying shame because I ruined it…………………………………………………what I would give to have that dress now but you can always look back and say, if only.
All I can do now is take comfort in the knowledge that my mum was happy for me to have the many hours of fun I with it.

I can also remember the woven headdress with tiny little flowers through it and some of the horseshoes because they were in the top of her wardrobe for years but I’ve no idea what became of them.
I don’t ever remember seeing the veil but I think it may have been passed down through the family. Looking back at mum’s eldest sister Rose’s wedding it certainly looks like she’s wearing the same one in which case it was passed down to mum and could have also been passed on to Joan for her big day.
I’ll have to get hold of her wedding photos to see.
I’ve also noticed by looking at the sister’s wedding photos that the bridesmaids dresses were recycled too. Because it was soon after the end of the 2nd World War and things were still in short supply Joan, being a clever seamstress, altered the sleeves to make the dresses more up to date.

Anyway, the wedding went without a hitch but married life didn’t start out well for them.

Rene fell pregnant almost straight away but tragedy struck.
She gave birth prematurely to a beautiful baby girl who they named Catharine but she had a hole in her heart and only lived for eight hours.
Mum had confided in me, I suppose because I was her only daughter, so I knew about Catharine but she was never mentioned within the family and it wasn’t until my mum passed away in 1989 that my two brothers even knew of their sisters existence. It only came to light then because we were going through mums belongings and found some paperwork, a receipt for Catharine’s burial, unmarked in someone else’s grave, apparently that was the way of things at the time.
She’s somewhere in our local church yard St. John’s, in Loughton, so whenever I go there I always say hello to her and wonder what it would have been like to have a sister.

It wasn’t long after losing Catherine that Rene was expecting again and this time there was a happier ending.
Keith Denis Hyde was born on *th October 19** and they had the makings of a new family unit.

Two years later Rene was expecting again, this time with twins but she miss carried one of the babies part way through. Although tinged with sadness there was still a happy ending because Michael Frederick John Hyde arrived on the *th September 19**.

Seven years were to pass filled with numerous miss carriages before their next child arrived, me, Susan Janice Hyde, the daughter they had longed for and I made me entrance in to the world on the *th September 19**.

Now their family was complete and our own story is to follow.

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Basic Grey – ‘Cappella’ Patterned Papers and Journaling Spots
Memory Stor - Plain Paper

Other Stash
Vellum Paper – Printed on my computer with a picture of the church they were married in
Peel Off Gold Corners
Heart and Dove Charms
Mother of Pearl Buttons
Seam Binding
Gold Brads
Flat Backed Pearls
Various Flowers
Computer Generated Journaling


  1. What a great story but so many lost children ...she must have cherished you and your brothers.
    Love the way you have created a frame and also used that ribbon to great effect.Beautifulxx

  2. Popped over on a link on Angie's site - we share an interest in family history - and really enjoyed reading the story attached to the lovely photograph. Memories came flooding back when I read that Rene lost a twin but finally gave birth to the other twin - the same thing happened to me with my first pregnancy ... I went on to have a lovely son. I've joined as a follower so I will be able to come back and read some of the other stories you've posted. Like your layout - the colours are very well chosen for the photograph and the flowers look perfect. Elizabeth xx