Sunday, 9 August 2015

Our wedding and moving to Wolverhampton (1)

1978 was a strange year. St Albans was one of most expensive places to buy a house in the whole country so there was no way that we would ever be able to afford one on the wages we were earning as a School Cook and as a Junior Technician. But the newspapers and people on the TV kept on saying that home ownership was something that all sensible people should do.

In the end we decided we would move to Wolverhampton - Jane's home town - where houses were much, much cheaper. She was keen to get back in her family's "good books" as they had been very unimpressed when she had moved south with her boyfriend and had then ended up getting engaged to somebody totally different.

I knew it was going to be difficult for me. All of my friends were in the St Albans area and so was Mrs H who I thought of as my second Mum. I didn't fancy moving to a place where I knew nobody and basically starting my life again. But I agreed to do it and in the end I came to realise that we had made the right decision.

But Jane and I insisted that we got married in St Albans. We did this so our friends could come to the wedding and so we could also use the reception to say our goodbyes. We looked at loads of venues and in the end settled for one that was more expensive than we could really afford. But they promised us so much we thought it would be worth it. What they promised and what we got were VERY different. Somehow they had misjudged the time needed to get the room ready after an event on the Friday evening (We got married on a Saturday). The whole room was grubby and smelling of stale beer and smoke and although the food was good and the cake excellent the venue was just so horrid and it was quite embarrassing asking guests to sit in such messy surroundings.

We didn't have a professional photographer so the pictures we were able to put together varied quite a bit in quality. We were sensible and we wrote all the names of the people appearing in each photo in the album so we didn't forget who they were. One or two people stayed in touch with me for a while but for most of them it was the last time we socialised. A few years later I was driving up Holywell Hill and one of my former friends "Jacko Jackson" was walking down on the other side of the road. I wonder if he ever worked out who hooted and waved at him?

Our honeymoon was 3 nights in Cambridge. It was warm and sunny every day so the weather matched our mood.

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