Village Weddings

 Mr. Reginald Basham & Miss Olive E. Chapman

Clara Basham, Frances Phypers, Bernard Chapman, Reginald Basham, Olive Chapman, John Chapman, Clara Basham, Peggy Chapman.

Peggy Chapman, Bernard Chapman, John Chapman jnr, Maud Chapman, Olive Chapman, Conrad Chapman, John Chapman, Frances Phypers, Stanley Chapman.

The following newspaper article we have no source or date but presume the Haverhill Echo.


The first marriage to take place from Birdbrook Hall for over a century was solemised at the parish church of St. Augustine on Wednesday, when a large gathering of friends attended the wedding of Mr. Reginald Basham and Miss Olive E. Chapman.  The hall adjoins the Church, and the parish registers, dating from about 1880, do not record any marriage from the hall, and it is known that there were none in the two families resident there prior to that year. Thus Wednesday's ceremony was a unique occasion in parish history.  The bridegroom is the youngest son of Mr. C. Basham, of Hole Farm, Belchamp St. Pauls, whilst the bride is the eldest daughter of Mr. John Chapman, of Birdbrook Hall, and formerly of Helions Bumpstead.

The church had been tastefully decorated with yellow chrysanthemums and ferns by Miss Blacklock, and the ceremony was of an extremely pretty character.  The officiating clergy were the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Young, and the Rev. R.F. Flynn, of Belchamp St. Pauls.  As the bridal party entered the church, Mendelssohn's Wedding March was played by the organist, Mrs. W. Ralling, and during the service the hymns "Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us" and "Love Divine, all love's excelling" were sung.  The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in a gown of white georgette with veil of Brussels net, kindly lent by a cousin, together with silver shoes.  She carried a bouquet of Madonna lilies, and wore a gold wrist watch, the gift of the bridegroom.  There were four bridesmaids, the Misses Clara Basham (sister of the bridegroom), Frances Phypers (half sister of the bride), Peggie Chapman (sister of the bride), and Clara Basham (niece of the bridegroom).  These young ladies wore dresses of powder blue crepe-de-chine, with black patent shoes, two wearing blue veils trimmed with silver leaves, roses and forget-me-nots, whilst the others wore mob caps.  All carried bouquets of pink and white chrysanthemums, Mr. Bernard Chapman, brother of the bride, acted as best man.  A reception was afterwards held at the Hall, where a company of about 50 relatives and friends assembled.  The happy couple later left for Buckinghamshire, where the honeymoon is being spent; the bride travelling in a red crepe-de-chine dress and red velour hat, with fawn coat, and exquisite furs presented to her by her step-mother.  They will later take up residence at the Hall Farm, Sturmer.  Mr. and Mrs. Basham were the recipients of over 60 beautiful presents, which included a two-tier silver stand from the employees of the Hall, Moat and Hoex Farms.  The employees at the Hall were entertained to dinner on Thursday evening.

Joe Botton and Eileen Buckland, June 8th 1968


The following comes from Birdbrook with Sturmer Parish News, July 1968


If anybody tries to tell you that one wedding is much the same as another do not believe them.  Weddings are highly individual affairs nearly always giving the connoisseur something for his collection.  Among the more memorable of 'my weddings' was the recent one between two people read out in Birdbrook Church as 'both of this Parish' although no-one in Church had so much as heard their names before.  There is a simple explanation.  In Chadwell Home Pasture is an encampment of itinerary workers and among their number Joe Botton and Eileen Buckland who wished to marry while in Birdbrook.  During the time I was seeing them in connection with the wedding - and, incidentally, the baptism of the bride - I grew to like this young couple and was interested to hear of their gipsy way of life.

In my innocence (ignorance?) I thought this would of necessity be a quiet wedding; after all who would know them?  So you may judge my astonishment when asked whether I could provide more seating.  They had in mind 100-150 guests.

When, in years to come, some successor of mine looks through the registers he may be puzzled on reading the wedding entry for June 8th 1968, when he sees the home address of both bride and bridegroom is given as The Home Pasture, Chadwell.  But this style amused and interested those closely concerned and has the effect of distinguishing the present couple from any future brides who come from the Farmhouse and not from one of the fields.

Obviously Joe and his wife will lead a wandering life and we shall see them only at long intervals but our genuine good wishes go with them on their journey.

Someone suggested to me that when, in old age, I write my memoirs I ought to include this wedding as something worth mentioning; I shall bear that in mind.  There were so many aspects that appealled.  Looking down the nave upon a crowded congregation of complete stranger I was struck by the handsome and colourful spectacle they made.  It certainly was a memorable occasion.

Robin Seymour and Wendy Kershaw, 14th May 2011

Robin and Wendy Seymour

Robin Seymour and Wendy Kershaw lived nearly opposite each other in Moat Road before marrying in the village church on the 14th May, 2011.  The service was attended by their many friends and family who then celebrated the occasion with a wonderful reception at Hundon village hall.  The newly weds honeymooned in Florida before returning to their home in Kedington.

Mick and Roe Seymour, Robin and Wendy, Steve and Sue Kershaw.

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