Along with various other documents I inherited a set of receipts from around the time of my great-grandparents’ marriage in Melrose in 1905. These were in the run-up to the big day, variously made out to John Dodds and his future wife Margaret Hall, and covered a mix of furnishings and clothing which the couple presumably needed for their new home and life together. I’ve digitally photographed the receipts and am putting them online here to share with cousins.
Firstly here’s a photo to remind people what the couple looked like. John Dodds (1877-1945) was a plumber in Melrose. Margaret Hall (1878-1919) was originally from Hawick, born at Wilton Dean, but by this time was living with her father Thomas Cavers Hall and other family at Gattonside Mains farm near Melrose. This photo was probably taken around the start of World War 1, when John enlisted in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The couple married at The Manse in Melrose on 13th October 1905.
And now for the earliest dated receipt, from May 1905, several months before the wedding. I like that it’s from an auctioneer’s. I wonder if John attended an auction, and bid on the item, and what else might have been for sale that same day.
And from the next day, and the same shop, here’s John buying more furnishings, including lino for the floor and stairs, and a rather expensive parlour suite. To put its cost in context, when his father-in-law died a decade or so later Margaret inherited £10 from him.
The next two receipts are from the same day, just six days before the wedding. Firstly here’s one made out in John’s name, from a clothier in Abbey Street, Melrose, very near to John’s childhood home at Abbey Gate. I particularly like the striped tweed trousers and the felt hat he was buying.
There were presumably other purchases made in the run-up to the wedding, and these surviving receipts present only part of the picture. But it’s remarkable that they were kept, and that they survive, passed down through the family. They give a wonderful glimpse into the run-up to a happy occasion.