Our Century

Midlands wedding fever

Royal WEddingNovember 20th. It was a right royal occasion for West Midlanders who went wild celebrating the wedding of the year when a young Princess Elizabeth walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming.

And on the run up to the big event the question on every fashion-conscious young bride's lips from Wolverhampton to Worcester was what will she wear ?

But the guessing game went out of the window when, despite poor weather, the radiant all-white Princess brought gasps of admiration as she swept down the aisle at Westminster Abbey.

She wore a misty satin gown with a 15ft long train of fan-shaped transparent ivory silk tulle accompanied by the shimmering spectacle of minute pearls and crystals afire in the soft light.

Wolverhampton's mayor, along with civic leaders across the region, sent greetings and best wishes to Elizabeth and Philip - and they had replies. Bilston's mayor got a message from Elizabeth saying the town's good wishes "gave me great pleasure."

And there was A big bonus for some of the region's November brides who had been named Elizabeth - they were in line for clothing "coupon free" dresses for their big occasion, courtesy of their future queen.

In the event that there were not sufficient Elizabeths becoming November brides in Britian, a ballot of non-Elizabethan brides was planned to fill all the dresses available.

It was also a big day for Midlands ATS regimental sergeant major, Maud Hadley of Old Hill, who was one of eight ATS members chosen to form a guard of honour for the Royal Wedding.

And Wolverhampton girl, Brenda Swift, decided to be part of the big day by getting married herself at St Mark's Church, Chapel Ash.

Excited crowds across the Express & Star circulation area beseiged display boards at the newspaper's branch offices in their eagerness to get a glimpse of the royal pictures.

A clerk pinning up the pictures at the Brierley Hill office was trapped by a solid rush of eager royal watchers and had to battle his way free.

The newspaper also used three aeroplanes to fly the royal pictures back to the Midlands for the editions.

Queen of Lichfield's Bower Festival
Crowds flock to see a new queen - this time, the queen of Lichfiel's traditional Bower Festival in 1947 as she and her attendants pass under the three spires of the city's catherdral

Alderman voices city ambitions: Wolverhampton's ambition to be officially made a city goes back more than 50 years when in October the council's Alderman Alan Davies described the honour as the town's "rightful reward."

The alderman had been trumpeting the town's achievements saying that growth of the Wolverhampton's transport undertakings had gone from an "almost bankrupt" concern to a flourishing service with an increase in the past year of more than 700,000.

Alderman Davies, the chairman of the transport committee, added that since the end of the 1914-18 war, the area of the borough had increased to some 9,000 acres and the electricity undertaking had swelled so much it was now the largest in the country outside the big cities.

He said he was looking forward to the time when the town would be rewarded by being made a city.

Flogging allegation is heard in secret: Allegations of the flogging of three boys at Rugeley Grammar School sent the school governors scurrying behind closed doors in October to discuss the claim.

The move came after Alderman G Newman, alleged at a Staffordshire education committee meeting that the boys had been flogged by one of the masters.

An education chief confirmed that the meeting ws being held butn added that no statement would be made afterwards. Officials deneid the Press access to the meeting. Alderman Newman was demandign that the meeting shoud be open to the Press,

Wilfred tickles: Popular forties radio star, Wilfred Pickles, found time to share a joke with pensioners, Tom and Emma Fellows, aged 84 and 82, respectively, during the broadcast of his famous Have A Go show at Bilston Town Hall in October.

Presumably the joke was that when they can't sleep the Bradley pair don't count sheep - they count the 18 children and 80 grandchildren in their lives.

Men free zone: A catering battle of the sexes reared its head in Birmingham when a union row blew up over a restaurant's decision to replace waiters with waitresses.

Apparently the Savoy Restaurant got the impression the waiters were too high class for the customers and a strike loomed as the establishment decided the customer is always right and would be best served by waitresses.

The move caused a rumpus among members of the local catering union.

Steve Tovey
All the bells and gadgets were later taken off, but they can easily be replaced.