Apr 05 2011

We all love a wedding

Published by at 9:10 am under News

(Click on photo to enlarge)   

   Michael Sheridan from Ventry Park and May Killens from Carnlough Road.

Weddings were always a great occasion in Cabra. In the weeks leading up to the big day neighbours spoke to each other of little else and especially if the couple getting married were both from the same area. There was all sorts of comings and goings in both houses in preparation for the big day. The house had to be scrubbed clean from top to bottom, the lace curtains taken down and washed by hand so they wouldn’t shrink, new wallpaper had to be put up, the window frames on the front of the house had to be painted and even the garden gate sometimes got a lick of silver paint. There was great excitement in the air on the morning of the wedding. The neighbours were often invited into the house of the bride to view her wedding presents laid out in the parlour or in one of the bedrooms. The canteen of cutlery usually took pride of place alongside a new bedspread or quilt that came with a set of matching bedsheets and pillow cases. Two or three sets of delph were proudly displayed on a sideboard next to a lamp-stand with a giant lampshade that looked like the hat the mother of the bride had borrowed for the wedding. The room was laid out like Aladdin’s Cave.

Some of the neighbours were busy helping out in the kitchen making cheese and tomato sandwiches for afterwards or looking after the great big piece of ham boiling on the gas stove. Kettles of  water for the tea were constantly on the boil also. Everyone in the house had a job to do or a place to go. Children’s faces were being scrubbed clean as the Da’ stood over the kitchen sink having a shave, his voice bellowing out some song or other as memories of his own wedding came flooding back. The mother of the bride was busy upstairs helping  her daughter fit into her wedding dress. The bedroom floor being litterd with toilet paper that wiped away the tears of joy of both women. ‘I’m going to miss you ma’. ‘I know love but you can always come back to visit’. There were many time when the bride and groom moved in and lived in the same house with either parent. In the grooms house the big question everyone was asking was ‘Now are you sure you’ve got the ring’? ‘Of course I’ve got the ring, I’m not stupid you know’ . ‘And don’t forget the shilling for the altar boys‘. Shoes were polished to the highest standard so that faces could be seen in them. The Da’ was in control as he gave out orders to younger children about behaving themselves in the church. He’d also make sure there was enough drink in for the neighbours. It certainly wouldn’t do to run dry of drink halfway through the day. The Ma’ was busy ironing shirts and wiping dirty faces clean with a spit and a lick.

Suddenly it was that time as everyone clambered out of the houses to the applause and cheers of  neighbours and friends. Most of the guests had to walk around to the church while the bride and her father travelled in the back of a borrowed Morris Minor. Inside the church all was quiet and reverend as both families sat opposite each other. The priest standing on the altar with the groom anxiously waiting to see the face of his new bride as she solomnly walked up the aisle holding onto her father’s arm. Crowds of people and especially young children would gather outside the church. The children all waiting for the traditional ‘Grushie’ were wedding guests would throw handfuls of loose money into the air above the heads of the waiting children. What a scene that was as they dived onto the money or tried to grab it in mid air before it reached the ground. The crowds would let out a big cheer as the newly married couple emerged from the church. Everyone made their way back to the house for tea and sandwiches washed down with a drop of porter for the men and a glass of sweet sherry or babycham for the women. And so the day went on with everyone happy to see the newly married couple head off in the Morris Minor for the train to Bray and their weekend honeymoon by the sea.




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