Hansley Beard

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Happy Vintage brides?

People often point out to me, as an avid collector of old wedding photographs, that the older photos from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, show what look like unhappy and slightly dour brides. Here are a couple of examples (though the grooms on these do seem to be managing a bit of a smile!):


But, we know that this was to do with the photographic techniques of the times because the newly married couple had been told to stand completely still without moving throughout the long exposure time, so holding a smile wouldn’t have been easy!

I recently went to the launch of the Yorkshire Film Archive’s new online website yfaonline, where they have uploaded lots of amazing old film footage from all over Yorkshire. It was whilst browsing on the site one day that I came across a film from the 1920s entitled ‘Popular Wedding at Roundhay’.

What I love about this film is that it shows us a 1920s wedding where, as far as I can tell, everyone including the bride is smilling and laughing, which of course would have been the case on such a joyous day and something that was maybe harder to capture with still photography.

The film, made by Debenham & Co. York, shows the wedding of Fred Groves and Alice Rothwell on the 20th October 1920. The Bride, Alice, who was 32 at the time, was given away by her father, John Rothwell Esq., a furniture dealer. The groom, Fred Groves, who was 33 at the time, was a civil servant, and his father, Hebdon Groves, was a farmer.  The minister was the Revd Sutcliffe Thomas and the witnesses were Norman Groves and Olive Gott.

To watch the film, which lasts about five and a half minutes, go to the yfaonline website, select ‘1920s’ in the ‘browse by decade’ box and then when the search results come up, scroll down to ‘Popular Wedding at Roundhay’.

Thanks to the Yorkshire Film Archive for providing me with the stills from the film for this blog.

Posted Sun, 05 Sep, by Jennie Beard
Categories: Vintage Wedding Films, Vintage Weddings
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