Napoleonic wedding gown and parachute dress displayed in church

Liz van de Poll with a 1942 parachute dress (left) and one from 2012
Liz van de Poll with a 1942 parachute dress (left) and one from 2012
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A wedding gown dating back to 1919 and insured for £5,000 was the centrepiece of a unique fair which will improve church facilities.

St Laurence Church in Winslow was filled with flowers over the weekend as people were able to view wedding gowns from the last century.

Winslow Wedding Fair. A wedding limousine at The Bell Hotel. PNL-140621-201008009

Winslow Wedding Fair. A wedding limousine at The Bell Hotel. PNL-140621-201008009

One of the dresses was Edwardian and another was made from parachute silk but the centrepiece was the Napoleonic gown.

Organiser Liz van de Poll, who guarded the valuable item for most of the event, said: “It was in the style of a Josephine dress from the Napoleonic era but cut off at the knee and brides would wear it with stockings.

“If we were going to do it all again, I would liked to have included an exhibition of memorabilia but we were a little pushed for space.

“But we wanted to show what the room can do and what the church is like – we had a wonderful load of favourable comments.”

The fair included dresses from every decade up until the present day, apart from the 1920s.

Mrs van de Poll said: “Ironically someone walked in and said ‘I have my grandmother’s dress from the 1920s’ but it was too late.”

Money raised from refreshments is still being counted but will go towards much-needed electrical rewiring at the church.

The organising group would like to thank charity shops Mercy in Action and Florence Nightingale for donating mannequins as well as The Bell Hotel and Beautifully Different for their support.