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Marriages Are Made in Bond Street: True Stories from a 1940s Marriage Bureau
Thursday, 16th November
St Peter's Church
North Street, Oundle, PE8 4AL
£8 standard/ £6 concession
(£1 off early bird tickets bought before 9th November)
In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London's Bond Street and set about the delicate business of match-making. From shop girls to debutantes; widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love.
The social history described in this wonderful book is fascinating, especially given the timing of the bureau’s start, just before the outbreak of war. Changing morals and a sense of carpe diem during the conflict added urgency and forthrightness to the proceedings. Results could be scarily quick - one couple met on Wednesday and were married on Friday - and over the course of the war the enterprise clocked up more than 2,000 weddings.
Drawing on the bureau's extensive archives, Penrose Halson tells Heather and Mary’s story, and those of their clients. All were desperately longing to find 'The One', and thanks to the Marriage Bureau, they almost always did just that.