|6th February 1948
'Rose Cottage' Is Happiness
If you asked Mr. and Mrs. John Albert Wicks, of Yelden, who celebrate their golden wedding on Saturday, for advice about establishing a happy home that would last for fifty years, they would recommend "take up cycling and whist."
For Rose Cottage, the old-fashioned rambling place where they have lived since their marriage, is a store room for the mementoes they have won throughout the years.
Mr Wicks is a blacksmith of the old school"My father was a blacksmith before me and I was born and bred in it a fact made obvious by the pathway to the house, which provides parking space for long forgotten pieces of farm machinery.
But although a handy man around the house and an expert at making hunting shoes and racing shoes and repairing farm machinery, it was as a cyclist that he added to the prestige of the household.
If he takes you into the low-roofed front room, where a treasured family Bible stands on the table, he will say: "Do you see that marble clock? I won that, and that pair of bronzes, and that silver tea pot and that oak tray. That set, a silver coffee pot, tea pot, sugar basin and cream jug, I won at the Dog and Duck." He will also point to a silver pint mug, a cake stand, an inkstand, and mention the £60 worth of prizes he has sold and the shields he gave away. Not to be outdone, his wife, Lily, will then step forward. "I won my prizes at whist," she will say, producing first an oak tea tray and then a set of silver spoons. And a little foraging in the cupboard will show a silver toasting fork, a hand-painted cruet, a silver cheese dish, a teapot, and a silver butter dish.
Mr. and Mrs. Wicks, now 73 and 71 have lived in their cottage since their wedding at Yelden Parish Church. We were born at Yelden, christened here, confirmed here, married here, and now we are going to have our golden wedding here," said Mr. Wicks.
Mrs. Wicks, whose mother, formerly a Miss Percival, came from Irchester, was born at "the lodge down the fields" and it was on her twenty-first birthday that she went to the altar. The date is marked up in the front of a wedding Bible given her by Mrs. L. A. S. Sanders, who used to be at Shelton Farm. Mrs. Wicks was in service at Shelton, and later at Oundle with the Rev. Oldroyd.
And then they settled down at Rose Cottage. "I took up the business here," said Mr Wicks. "And I didn't want to leave," added his wife. "I said if you want to go, you go on your own."
Life was varied at the forge and for many years Mr. Wicks worked all day at the anvil repairing machinery or shoeing the horses from the neighbouring farms. His leisure time was spent cycling. Gradually the business grew until he had four men working for him. Then for four years he worked at Shelton Hall shoeing, and, to climax a career of hard work, went "on the roads" for the Council for nine years. And he still says: "I'll do a job or work anywhere, and it doesn't matter what it is."
Another spare time occupation of Mr. Wicks was to carry out the duties of a Special Policeman. He took on the job in 1914, and remained in the Force for 25 years. Mrs. Wicks used her leisure making rugs and cloth dolls.
There has been little energy or time to spare, though, in the past few days, for great preparations are being made for the party, which will take place in the Village Institute on Saturday. There will be eighty guests, among them Mr. and Mrs. Wicks' son and daughter, sisters, brothers and cousins.
13th February 1948
Box Held Spray for 50 Years
Saturday was a day of smiles for Mr. and Mrs. John Albert Wicks of Yelden, for they were the toast of the village at their golden wedding anniversary when practically the whole of the small population crowded into the Village Institute.
With her bridesmaids about her, and wearing on her black dress the artificial spray of orange blossom which once adorned her wedding dress, and which she had treasured throughout the years. Mrs. Wicks was “queen” of the day she will long remember.
On the eve of the occasion, when she told a reporter of her and her husband’s fifty years of happiness at Rose Cottage, their home, where Mr. Wicks has carried on the business as a blacksmith, she brought out the cardboard box which had hidden the orange blossom for fifty years, “I shall wear this”, she said, “It will look rather posh on a nice black dress”.
There were about eighty guests at the party, among them the three bridesmaids, Mrs. R. Richardson, Mrs. A. Wilmott and Mrs. H. Coles. Another bridesmaid died soon after the wedding.
Also honoured guests were Mr. Jack Arthur Wicks, of Irchester Road, Rushden, and Mrs. Jessie Elizabeth Sharpe, of Odell, the son and daughter of the golden wedding couple. Sisters, brothers and cousins were among the happy crowd who carried on the festivities until eleven in the evening.
Toast were proposed by Mr. J. A. Wicks, the Rev. F. Wright (Rector), Mr. R. Richardson and Mr. G. Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Wicks also made the arrangements and acted as joint M.Cs. for the entertainment.
Assisting with the catering were Mrs. H. Hodgkins, Miss N. Cowley, Mrs. Eaton and Mr. Benning.