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“Bicycle Bride” Dies at 80. [February 1954]



      Her Wedding is still remembered.

        A Bride who caused a sensation at her wedding in 1897 by riding away from the Church with her 
        bridegroom on a ‘double bicycle’, Mrs. Fanny Matilda Palmer, formerly of Wisbech, died on 
        Saturday at the home of her fourth daughter, Mrs. C. SKEELS, at Chatteris. She was 80.

        The ‘bicycle wedding’ will be still vivid in the memories of the older generation.
        Mr. Unartha Desilva PALMER and Miss F.M.Stevenson rode up to St Augustine’s Church Wisbech, on 
        single bicycles and afterwards left on a double machine on which they went round the town through 
        the streets crowded with people.

        The bicycle is still in existence.***

        The church was packed to capacity for the ceremony, and people were even standing on the window 
        ledges.

        Mrs. PALMER was born at TYDD ST MARY and first worked at Messrs. FLETCHERS STORES at LONG SUTTON. 
        She “lived in” during the week and walked to and from work at week-ends. 

        The STEVENSON family moved to Wisbech about 1890, and Mrs. PALMER helped her mother and sisters 
        with a millinery business now known as STEVENSON and Co.

     MOTORING PIONEER
        After her marriage to Mr PALMER, who owned the second car in the town, the couple lived where 
        Mr. AMES garage now stands in LYNN ROAD. Then they moved further down the road into a house next 
        to Messrs. DAVIS and Co’s premises.

        Mrs. PALMER taught at St Peters Sunday School and always been a regular Church of England member. 
        A widow since 1942, she had lived at HUNSTANTON for the last four years. 

        Her many activities at Wisbech and at HUNSTANTON included membership of the Mothers Union, Womens 
        Institute and Conservative Association. She was also for many years a vice-president of the Wisbech 
        Wheelers Cycling Club.

        For several years she acted as a cane-work demonstrator for the Womens Institute classes in the 
        district and received many awards at shows. She was a skilled needlewoman.

        She had a family of one son and six daughters, one of whom (Mrs. MABEL LOUDEN) is now deceased. 
        Of 15 grandchildren, 13 are living.
 
        Mrs. PALMER is also survived by a brother, Mr. C. STEVENSON (PETERBOROUGH), and a sister, 
        Mrs. B. GITTINS (WISBECH).

     THE FUNERAL
        The Rev. P.K. Irwin officiated at the funeral at St Augustine’s Church, Wisbech on Tuesday, and 
        the hymns sung were  “The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended” and “Jesu, Lover of My Soul” 
        The internment followed at the Borough Cemetery.

        The immediate mourners were: Mrs. C WILSON (SPALDING), Mrs. A.J. DRAY (LONDON), Mr. and Mrs. C. SKEELS 
        (CHATTERIS), Mrs. S. WESTON (HEMEL HEMPSTEAD), Mr. and Mrs. J.W.C. HIBBERT (LONDON), sons in law and 
        daughters; 
        Mr. and Mrs. U.E.D. PALMER, son and daughter in law; Mrs. B. GITTINS sister, Mr. K.P. FIRTH, 
        brother in law; Mr. RAY PALMER and Miss SYLVIA PALMER, grandchildren; Mr. and Mrs. A. HAYLETT, 
        Miss M. GITTINS, Miss L. NOBLE ( HUNSTANTON), Mrs. B. CURTIS (KINGS LYNN), Mrs E W PALMER+++
        (also representing Mr. PALMER), Mrs. H. PALMER, nephews and nieces, Mrs. F. PALMER, great niece, 
        Mr. C.W. CLARKE and Miss E.M. CLARKE, cousins.

        Unable to attend were: Mr. C. STEVENSON (brother), Mrs. A. TIDD (BRIGHTON, granddaughter) and 
        Miss D. VASSAR (WISBECH, a friend).

        Sympathisers present were; Miss K.C. DAVIS ( also representing Mrs. A.J. DAVIS), Mr. Arthur DAVIS, 
        Mrs. F. CAWTHORNE (also representing Mrs. H. KIERMAN and family), Mrs. H. HOWARD and Mrs. F. ALLEN 
        (also representing Wisbech Womens Institute), Mrs. H. HARROLD, Mrs. S. PARSONS (also representing 
        Mrs. E. GRAY), Mr. E.L. RAYNER, Mrs. C. OXBOROUGH, Miss D. KIRBY (also representing Mr. and Mrs. J.W.
        KIRBY and family), Ald. W.V. FUNDREY (also representing Mrs FUNDREY and family), Mr. R.C. HAMMOND, J.P 
        (also representing Mrs. HAMMOND and the Old Age Pensions Association) and Mr. W.H. COUSINS (also 
        representing the Wisbech Wheelers Cycling Club)

        The funeral arrangements were in the efficient hands of Messrs DAVIS and Sons, of LYNN ROAD, WISBECH.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
**now in a Cycle Collection in Melbourne, Australia. +++ my Grandparents Fanny Matilda PALMER was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech, Cambs - 16 February 1954. Source - Mt Pleasant Cemetery Burial Registers, Wisbech.
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This page created 27 April 2002 and amended/updated 18:39 30/01/2005