Wedding dress to wear on cut day

Nine-year-old Amelia Brockhurst will wear her great-great-great-grandmother’s blue linen wedding gown this week at the annual Mid Canterbury (WI) Federation of Women’s Institutes Federation Cup day .

The dress, which has a separate bodice and skirt, was worn by Sarah Ann Winifred Clark, 20, when she married William Hiley, at Tredegar Parish Church in Bedwellty, Wales on August 28 1871.

On Cup Day, members compete for the Rugby Cup, a cup donated by the Mid Canterbury Rugby Union for WI’s restoration efforts during the Tour match at the Ashburton Showgrounds on June 6, 1950.

The competitive nature of the members shines through in their cut day entries in the cooking, flower, craft, knitting / crochet, and photography / coloring sections.

This year, they will also be hosting a wedding dress parade, open to anyone interested in attending the ceremony.

Amelia is one of some 30 models who will walk the catwalk at the Ashburton Senior Center at Cameron St in Ashburton on Friday from 10:30 am, dressed in the wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses of yesteryear; many of them worn at the weddings of the WI members themselves, but some from generations past.

There are other dresses recorded in the 30’s, 50’s and 60’s.

Amelia’s heirloom dress is 1865 style and although some details have been worn or lost over the years, the quality of the dress belies its truly vintage age of over 150 years.

The crew neck bodice top is embellished with fringes and bold buttons down the center front.

It is boneless, lined and has an original shirt underneath.

It has bell-shaped sleeves and a pleated skirt.

The bride had 14 children, although only seven reached adulthood and only four reached the age of 30 or older.

About Daniel Lange

Daniel Lange

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