It was July 1951, the house was in a turmoil with people buzzing around. All four of us younger girls were washed clean and waiting in line. We had another little girl with us too, making five in all. Wendy wasn’t our sister, but was about to become related by marriage. We were getting more and more excited as each minute passed.
“Gillian” mum said, holding out one of the beautiful white bridesmaid dresses that hung in a captivating row, across the room. The dresses that she and Leeta had made especially for each of us. “Arms up” Gill put both arms up and a lovely, white, silky dress was slipped over her head, while we looked on with anticipation. Gill walked slowly out of the line, looking down at her lovely dress. I was more interested in the dresses still hanging up. “Babs” My arms shot up eagerly as mum came forward holding my dress. She slipped it over my head. Mum was adept at slipping dresses on without our arms getting caught up in the sleeves. With five girls she had had a lot of practice. “Turn round” mum said, and she tied the waist band. “Now don’t play around, keep your dresses clean.” We had no intentions of playing in such beautiful dresses, we were more interested in parading around like little ladies.
“Just look at the time” mum said, all flustered now. “Quickly… Sandie…Tina…arms up” She hurriedly dropped their dresses over their heads and tied the waist bands. Wendy was being dressed by our eldest sister Leeta, who’s big day it was.
“Quickly now, downstairs all of you” she said, ushering us out the door. As we were making our way downstairs, to whatever transport was waiting to take us to the church, she suddenly cried “Oh no! Sandie! Tina! you have the wrong dresses on!” They looked at her blankly. “There’s no time now, they will have to do. Come on girls, quickly!”
Sandie was, and still is, considerably taller than the rest of us, as you can see in the photograph.
I so remember those little baskets!
Now I have a question for you. No prize I’m afraid. You can clearly see, in the photograph, who Tina and Sandie are. The question is, which one do you think is me?