I mentioned the other day about many couples during 1896 being married in the halls of public houses. Well, by stark contrast, was a high society wedding at High Blantyre, which following a church service, ended up back at Crossbasket House.
This AI illustration, though struggling a little to recreate Crossbasket, from the article, gives a suggestion of what the wedding may have looked like.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd September 1896 High Blantyre was all astir on the marriage of Mr Hugh Neilson of Glasgow and Miss Daisy Neilson, eldest daughter of George Neilson of Crossbasket. Mr Neilson who owned Summerlee Collieries certainly put on a wedding that would be remembered.
The Ceremony took place in the Parish Church which was beautifully decorated everywhere with palms and chrysanthemums by Matthew Campbell of Auchinraith Nurseries. Those who know Blantyre Old Parish Church, will know there is a path leading up to the large arched shaped wooden doors. Well, that particular day from the front gates to the entrance, the path was entirely covered by a purpose built covered entrance ‘tunnel’ adorned with flowers. The vestibule and the aisles of the church was laid with red cloth.
At half past one o’clock a special train of seven carriages arrived from Glasgow and along with guests driven by carriage the area in front of the church was reserved, as were seats indoors downstairs.
On the upper floor, members of the public were allowed to come in and be seated at the gallery, but only by ticket. Amongst the guests on the lower floor were Sir John Watson of Earnock, Mr Walter A Clark of Crutherland, Mr & Mrs Cochrane of Calderglen, Mr & Mrs Chrystal of Calderwood Castle, Colonel Stuart of Torrance, Mr & Mrs Wardrop Moore of Greenhall and others. Mr H.M Hamilton was the minister assisted by the parish minister Rev C.S Turnbull.
The bride, who was given away by her father and was attended by 6 bridesmaids and a train bearer was stirred in a handsome white satin with tulle trimmings and orange blossoms and carried a magnificent bouquet of marguerites. The bridesmaids (three of whom were sisters of the bride) and train bearer were dressed in white corded silks with pale blue Empire sashes, and wore white felt hats with white ostrich tips. They also carried similar bouquets. The bride’s mother wore a white silk with pink velvet.
After the ceremony and signing of the register in the vestry, the happy couple left the church to the strains of Mendelsohn’s Wedding March sung by a full choir, under the conductorship of Mr John Marshall with Mr Gavin Fleming on the organ.
The guests afterwards were driven by carriages to nearby Crossbasket House, the home of the bride and her family, where a handsome wedding dinner was served. A band played selections of music on the lawn and the place was tastefully decorated by Crossbakset gardener, Mr. Archibald Noble.