75 years ago – Marriage of Thomas Adams and Mabel Coulson

Today is the 75th anniversary my grand-parents marriage.

image of Marriage certificate for Thomas Adams & Mabel Coulson

On examining the marriage certificate I note the following:

1 Dates

It is the original produced on the day of the event, the 29 March 1937, and the certificate refers to the Marriage Acts in force at that time.  So, the information it contains should accurately reflect that reported at the ceremony.  It was passed down to my father when my grand-mother died, so its provenance is well accounted for.

2 Locations

The groom’s residence in Bloomsbury Street was less than a mile from St James church and the bride’s residence in Great Francis Street was roughly halfway between the church and groom’s address.  The church and the two residences are no longer standing.  St James was bomb damaged in World War 2 and demolished in 1956.  A quick virtual walk using Google maps reveals only modern buildings on Great Francis and Bloomsbury Streets because the area was redeveloped in the 1960s.map of locations given on the marriage certificate for Thomas Adams & Mabel Coulson

3 Occupations

Occupations may not be entirely accurate.  In the case of the groom, Thomas Adams junior, the occupation of greengrocer could imply someone who ran their own business.  However, on his first child’s birth registration, his occupation is recorded as “Retail greengrocer’s assistant”, an employee in a shop that sold fresh produce.  The bride’s father, Edward Charles Coulson, is similarly promoted.  A coal merchant was a large businessman who dealt directly with the mines, so only two or three are typically listed in contemporary trade directories for Birmingham.  Edward Coulson is consistently listed in trade directories as one of many coal dealers, who delivered coal to households.

4 Witnesses

The witnesses to the marriage were Albert Adams, the groom’s brother and Matilda Bertha Dipple (Tilly), the bride’s friend.  Often witnesses performed other functions during the ceremony.  Albert was the best man and Tilly the chief bridesmaid.


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