The photo below shows my great grandparents, Herbert Cecil MASON and Georgina Matilda (née BRIANCOURT) at their 6oth wedding anniversary celebration in 1965. I’m fascinated by the angle of the cake! I was at the party and I’m sure if there had been a cake disaster I would have remembered it – I assume that despite the apparently alarming tilt of the multi-tiered cake, all was well and they managed to cut it with no mishaps.
Herbert and Georgina had married on 20th March 1905 at the Register Office in the District of Edmonton. His occupation was given as “Launderer” and hers as “Laundry Manageress”. Herbert’s father John Thomas MASON owned The New Century Laundry in Turnpike Lane, Hornsey, north London, and in 1901 Georgina was listed in their household as a domestic servant. This fits with the story I was told as a child about Georgina being a servant in the “big house” and “having to get married ” to her employer’s son. If, however, their ages in 1901 are correct as on the census, then Herbert was 17 when they married, and Georgina was 23. On their marriage certificate they both stated that they were 21.
So far I’ve not managed to work out whether the 2 witnesses to the marriage were relatives – a Julia Borrows and an Ethel Maud Julien. Perhaps they worked in the laundry? I haven’t yet definitely found either of these ladies in the 1901 census although there is an Ethel M Julien aged 8 in Leicester, and several possibilities for Julia Borrows. Somehow I don’t think they are relatives – perhaps no-one from the Mason family attended? Georgina’s parents had both died by 1905.