The Golden Wedding
Fred and Lu’s youngest son, Stephen, was born in June 1945, to be joined by Jennifer in May 1950, so Limefield once again was a house full of children, with my parents still living in part of the house.
Roy, Eric and Muriel’s son, and John Bruce, Cyril’s and mine, were both born in March 1948.
In February 1950 my parents celebrated their Golden Wedding with a splendid gathering of family and close friends. The day began with Mass at St. Cuthbert’s said by Canon Rowntree, who had christened us all and had married Mac and Hilda (nee Youatt) and Hilda (nee Dyckhoff) and Eddy Driessen. These two Hildas may appear rather confusing, as indeed they were. For about six years there were two Hilda Dyckhoffs in Manchester, until my sister married and became a Driessen and moved to Holland.
The Wittes had very kindly lent us their big house Dunham Rise, Altrincham, for the occasion, which was attended by almost all the family and close friends. These were Max and Erica Witte, of course, Canon Rowntree, Mrs Bickel and a cousin of the Wittes, Margret, who was a great help to Erica. Roy, aged about two, unfortunately had a temperature and was unable to be present. His contemporary, my son Bruce, was there but spent a good deal of the day in a large drawer sleeping happily! The other children played hide-and-seek for which there was plenty of scope. As well as large reception rooms, there was a billiard room in the basement, table tennis room upstairs, two staircases (a feature which Limefield lacked), and a dining room with a huge table at which at least thirty people could be seated. The younger children were at a smaller table looked after by Esther, Mother’s faithful daily help for many, many years and later Lu’s, We all contributed food for a cold luncheon, and every guest was given a small menu card, made by Hilda Driessen, with a photograph of my parents on the front.
Hilda and Eddy Driessen came over from Holland with their four children and stayed with the Wittes. Unfortunately Eddy contracted some painful leg trouble on the journey, and instead of a weekend, they stayed about ten days until he was fit to travel again. Their four children sang some topical songs in English, composed by Hilda. The girls wore attractive patchwork skirts, which were a specialty in Holland after the war. They were introduced by a Dutchwoman who had returned from a German concentration camp, the idea being to use pieces of material with special significance in one’s life, commemorating events from a happier past.
It is a pity that there are no copies of the songs in existence, nor of the ABC which Fred composed for the occasion. However, there are photo- graphs and a commemorative Dutch plate specially commissioned by Hilda and Eddy still in existence.
Three years later, on January 18th 1953, my father’s life drew to a peaceful close at the age of 89, and on September 5th the same year, the last of his grandchildren was born, Charles Nicholas Peter Entwisle.