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The marriage and heirloom wedding dress that have stood the test of time

PUBLISHED: 11:27 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 07 March 2019

Alec and Norma Abrey with the youngest of their four great grand-children, Holly Waplington, wearing the family gown made from Norma's wedding dress Picture: supplied by Lorraine Thomas

Alec and Norma Abrey with the youngest of their four great grand-children, Holly Waplington, wearing the family gown made from Norma's wedding dress Picture: supplied by Lorraine Thomas

supplied by Lorraine Thomas

Baby Holly Waplington has thrilled her family by wearing an heirloom gown that has come down though the generations.

Alec and Norma Abrey with the youngest of their four great grand-children, Holly Waplington, wearing the family gown made from Norma's wedding dress, and the couple on their wedding day in 1959 Picture: supplied by Lorraine ThomasAlec and Norma Abrey with the youngest of their four great grand-children, Holly Waplington, wearing the family gown made from Norma's wedding dress, and the couple on their wedding day in 1959 Picture: supplied by Lorraine Thomas

The four-month-old was dressed in the tumbling lace and taffeta especially to mark a milestone occasion - the 60th wedding anniversary of her great-grandparents.

Proudly cradling her, Alec and Norma Abrey posed for a family snap, celebrating their long and happy marriage and the day when Mrs Abrey walked down the aisle wearing the same gown being modelled by little Holly, the fourth generation to wear it.

Their daughter Lorraine Thomas said it was lovely see the dress out of storage and looking just as bright and fresh as it did when her parents exchanged vows in Hopton Church on March 14 1959.

In the meantime the only other person to wear it was her, on the occasion of her christening in 1965 after it had been altered by her great grandmother, a talented seamstress who loved to make-do and mend.

“My mum’s mum made my christening gown from mum’s wedding dress,” she said.

Four-month-old Holly Waplington is the fourth generation to make use of a family heirloom gown which started life as her great grandmother's wedding dress and was made by her great great grandmother Picture: Lorraine ThomasFour-month-old Holly Waplington is the fourth generation to make use of a family heirloom gown which started life as her great grandmother's wedding dress and was made by her great great grandmother Picture: Lorraine Thomas

“She made a long gown, a matching matinee jacket, and cape and she trimmed them with pink ribbon.

“My sister and I thought it was a lovely way to remember our dear nan on this special day for mum and dad, as well as bringing back memories of their wedding day.”

She said her parents, who live in Avenue Road, Gorleston, met while both working at Matthes, in England’s Lane, Gorleston.

Her father repeatedly asked her mother out but she refused - and when she did finally agree to a date she stood him up.

Alec and Norma Abrey on their wedding day 60 years ago, Mrs Abrey wearing the dress which is still doing proud service as a christening gown Picture: LorraineThomasAlec and Norma Abrey on their wedding day 60 years ago, Mrs Abrey wearing the dress which is still doing proud service as a christening gown Picture: LorraineThomas

However true love won the day and they tied the knot, Mrs Abrey wearing the white lace over taffeta dress and carrying a bouquet from Sylvia’s Florist who were in the Arcade in Great Yarmouth.

They have two daughters, Lorraine and Joanne, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

The family plan to celebrate the milestone with a meal at the Short Blue in Gorleston.

Mrs Thomas added she hoped the lovingly-remade garment would be worn by future family members, given that it was in such good condition and was so emotionally important stitching together the family’s story of love, marriage and new lives.

The Christening gown made from a wedding dress has given service across four generations Picture: Lorraine ThomasThe Christening gown made from a wedding dress has given service across four generations Picture: Lorraine Thomas

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