Those of us that were the 12 to 14 age group who attended Yarmouth Church were told that there was to be a Confirmation at St James’s, not just for us; people from Freshwater and out in the country would be joining us. A lady, I can’t remember her name, told us that all us young girls must have white dresses. Older girls could wear blue, men and boys should wear “Sunday best” as it was called then, or if you were in the Services you could wear your uniform.
Now to buy white dresses at this time was just not possible. You had to try to get some material and get the dresses made and that was not easy either. I don’t know how my Mum and Aunt Alice got it, but they got some bits of white parachute silk and a lady in Yarmouth Square, Mrs Kellaway, fitted the bits together and made me a dress. My friend Sheila Kennedy (nee Reeves) had a great aunt in London. She somehow got hold of some beautiful white satin. She would not say how she got it, and Mrs Kellaway made a dress for Sheila as well. I remember one girl had a dress made from butter muslin, this looked very sweet. A girl from the country had a white blouse and had made a skirt from white net curtains. It was different, but she did look very pretty. There were other white dresses made from all sorts of materials, whatever the girls’ mums could get hold of. I must say my friend Sheila’s dress stood out, it was so beautiful.
After what seemed to be a very long service we at last came out and stood around the church yard while people took photos with Box Brownie cameras. It must have been late on the Sunday afternoon because people were putting out old metal dust bins before it got dark ready for the dustman who came very early in the morning on the Monday.
Sheila started to run about and suddenly she jumped over a dustbin and caught the hem of her lovely dress on a lid. The hem came down and made the dress look like a nightgown. Luckily for her, her mum could see the funny side of it and when you think about it, it really had been a lovely day to remember.
Delia Whitehead nee Hunt