A 60th wedding anniversary

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.


About familyhistoryfootsteps

I'm enjoying early retirement! I have been researching my ancestry for several years and am interested in all aspects of family history especially local and social history.
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2 Responses to A 60th wedding anniversary

  1. John Mason says:


    I think we have been in touch some while back re the descendants of John Thomas Mason of Hornsey. My father Alfred John Mason was one of his sons (by his third marriage) and age-wise was between Leonard Eric and Arthur Hayter.

    What was very interesting for me in your recent post, was the mention of Chase Farm School. I knew my father was in some sort of orphanage after their father died and it therefore seems very likely that he was there with both Leonard and Arthur.

    I have just found on the net mention of another former ‘pupil’ of Chase Farm – slightly earlier than our forebears – who also went to Canada to farm. Maybe the school was on a commission to supply farm labourers!!

    Somewhere I have a scan of Leonard Eric being awarded his ‘wings’ – if you are interested, I can send you a copy,

    I was also interested to see that your family name was Brittain. I recall as a young man visiting a Rose Brittain, along with with my parents – possibly somewhere around Winchmore Hill. I guess this was after Bert & Gina’s diamond wedding party which I also attended with my then girlfriend – now my wife Valerie.


    John Mason

    La Hee

    • Good to hear from you via my blog, and thank you for posting the comment. The site below will take you to some more information about Leonard’s and Arthur’s arrival in Canada if you choose “Home Children” and “Immigration Records Search” and enter the names. I assume that your father, Alfred John, stayed in the UK and wasn’t shipped out to Canada?


      I’m going to find out where the records for the Chase Farm Schools are located, and see what else I can find out about the boys’ time there, and in particular what prompted their mother to send them there. In case you haven’t seen it, here is a site which has some information about the school:


      The Rose Brittain you remember visiting was presumably my grandmother, Rosalind (Rose) Mason, daughter of Herbert and Georgina. She married Ernest James Brittain and they lived in Muswell Hill, north London.

      I’d love to see a copy of the photo of Leonard Eric being awarded his wings if you would be kind enough to send it to me. Do you know any more about him?

      Thanks again for getting in touch

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