Sunday, December 17, 2006
A Country Wedding
On Saturday we went to the wedding of my god-daughter at the pretty church of St Bertoline in Cheshire, which dates back to the 1100s and is built on the site of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground. It looks so quiet and peaceful doesn't it? And yet in 1643, during the English Civil War, on Christmas Eve, when a group of Royalists commanded by Major Connought plundered the village of Barthomley, twenty Parliamentarians took refuge in the tower of St Bertoline's Church. The Royalists made a fire at the base of the tower to smoke them out, which forced the Parliamentarians to surrender. Connought's men then stripped and killed twelve of them in cold blood and wounded most of the others. There are supposedly still hoof marks on the stone stairs where the Royalists tried to ride their horses up to the top of the tower.
This is the White Lion where L & I had lunch before the wedding. It is about as close to the church as it could be and is very old. They have served ale here since at least 1614. Inside there is a big open fire, wooden tables and benches,one of which had the pub cat curled up on it. Nearly every table appeared to have a dog under it - there was a greyhound, a beagle, a border terrier, a rather out of place looking poodle and various others - all accompanying their owners who were having lunch there.
These are the bridesmaids, the middle one is my god-daughter's elder sister.
This is the best I can manage in the way of a photo of the bride and groom, because there are narrow, steep steps fom the church to the lower level, only the official photographer was getting a decent view. L just managed this one quick snap fom the side, mostly they were hidden by crowds of guests.
The bride's mother and I - we have been friends for nearly 40 years and were bridesmaids to each other many moons ago.
The last photo has a sad story attached to it, this little girl is the daughter of people Jenny, (the bride), knows through the theatre group she is involved with. She wanted desperately to be a bridesmaid so Jenny granted her wish. It may be the only chance she ever has as she is dying of cancer. She looks so lovely in her little white fur cloak and muff - it's hard to believe that she has so much suffering behind and ahead of her. She's a very brave little girl and a great example to all of us.