In my day it was about this time of year that the marriage season would begin.
Not necessarily the actual ceremony- although my parents married in the snow on 3rd March- but planning. Back then you could propose on New Year’s Eve, book the church and the Allen Road Club by March, and be married on Midsummer’s Day.
Oh, and the dress.
If your Mum wasn’t making it then you could get one off the peg at Louise’s. And of course, you didn’t worry about what the groom or best man wore. They had their de-mob suits. There was none of this modern idea of dressing up like you are off to Ascot.
But you won’t be surprised to hear that that all started here in Finedon. Well it didn’t actually, because Warwick’s had already got in first. But they catered for, shall we say, the better off couples.
In Finedon, we had a chap called Jeremy Fitzgerald. Actually, he was pretty posh, but he got about a bit. He had a little business; ‘Fitz Fits’, supplying costumes for local Amateur Dramatic groups.
It happened that there was a spate of My Fair Lady productions in the county swiftly followed by Anything Goes.
He had managed to satisfy the demand for penguin suits but then, because of a glut of Oklahomas’ and Wizards of Ozzies he had the problem of them clogging up his storeroom.
Then he had the bright idea of renting them out for a pittance to make beer money. Soon every young couple was putting on the Fitz.
Sadly, there was a bit of an unfortunate incident and poor old Fitz had to draw a line under the whole venture.
There was a big Do one weekend with all the whistles and bells, including a huge reception at The Mulso. Folk travelled from far and wide and Fitz Fits fitted them all out. There was music, dancing and the wine flowed like water.
There was a lavish meal with Prawn Cocktails and Chicken in the Basket. But trouble started over the lemon Meringue Pie. No one really knows why the fighting started but soon pies were being launched by the Bride’s side. The Groom’s supporters returned fire with Eton Mess. And what a mess it was.
Fitz’s costumes were ruined. Pudding on their top hats, pudding on their whites ties, pudding on their tails. Pudding on the Fitz.