It was their 25th wedding anniversary and I’d never seen Mum and Dad happier, the house bursting at the seams with friends and family. It was a simple affair, with six kids and one colliery worker’s wage coming in, there wasn’t money available to splash out on a lavish affair, hence holding it at home.
People turned up with occasion appropriate gifts, some of which they never did find a use for. One piece however took centre stage in the display cabinet. My brother was doing a silversmith course at college in Birmingham and had been commissioned to do a piece for his old school, the headmaster of many years was retiring. So he had made a cruet set in silver. His concept piece had been a base metal then silver plated version which they had let him keep and which he now proudly gave to his parents as a present from all of us. There were tears from both of them!
The food was simple but of the time, all prepared at home and why not Mum’s baking was legendary, I’m sure she would have done well on Bake Off now. A well matured Christmas cake had been decorated and their was alcoholic and non-alcoholic trifle, decorated with glacé cherries and half walnuts. We kids had helped buttering mountains of bread for the egg, ham and tomato and cheese sandwiches and making the cheese and pineapple hedgehog. We were strictly banned from getting involved in preparing the rum punch!
Music was provide via a cassette mix that someone had kindly done with my parents favourite music, some of which Dad played in the local band as drummer. The party got into full swing, the kitchen constantly packed with people, the living room not much better but the front room was a little sanctuary, a place people could go for a proper catch up without having to shout. Auntie Pat, Mum’s younger sister was in jovial mood and stayed to the end, difficult to imagine she would be dead within two years, not even reaching fifty.
It all came to an end all too soon most said but better to leave them wanting more. As the crowd started to disperse it became apparent that the two youngest of us kids were nowhere to be found. Surprisingly there was little panic, we were after all a generally well behaved bunch not prone to wandering off. They hadn’t taken themselves off to bed and weren’t out in the garden or the conservatory. Then we found the nine year old twins curled up, like yin and yang, under the table, sound asleep.
Someone said ‘they look like they’ve had one too many’ as a joke.
‘Well, I did give them a teaspoon of rum punch when they asked if they could try it.’
‘Same here.’ ‘
So it was concluded the crafty pair really had had one too many and were left to sleep it off. Dad staying downstairs on his wedding anniversary to keep an eye on them until they roused!
Image courtesy of – Hemswell Antique Centres