Bobby’s Bournemouth reopening brings back wedding memories

A RETIRED couple visited Bobby’s on its inaugural day of reopening 61 years after purchasing a wedding dress at the original store.

Margaret, 82, and Ron Bridle, 87, attended the department store’s relaunch and it brought back memories for Mrs Bridle of buying her dress for the big day.

Read more: It’s amazing”: Shoppers react to Bobby’s reopening

“We were getting married on October 1 1960 and this was the shop to come for a wedding dress. So my mother and I came here, I was only 21 at the time, and we bought the wedding dress upstairs on the fourth floor.

“It was very fashionable in those days to have what we call ballerina length, so it was half length.”

Mrs Bridle still has the receipt today which shows the white wedding dress cost £14 in 1960.

That equates to just over £330 in today’s money, and was the equivalent to roughly a week’s wages for a man working a manual labour job at the time; according to the ONS.

Read more: Inside Bournemouth’s new Bobby’s department store

The bride-to-be became Mrs Bridle in October later that year at St John’s Church in Boscombe, having met at a ballroom.

Mr Bridle said: “We met at the ballrooms in Boscombe. She came with another gentleman and went home with me because I had a car.”

The future husband came from Ringwood and Mrs Bridle said there was always a group who came from the town down to the Royal Ballrooms, as it was known at the time.

Read more: Bobby’s department store opens its doors in Bournemouth

Since then the couple have lived in Ringwood ever since and made their way to Bournemouth on Thursday September, 9, for Bobby’s reopening.

“It was lovely (when I heard they were coming back) because it’s a lovely store and I realised it’s going to be much more modern and nothing like it used to be, but that’s in a good way.

“It was very traditional and you had afternoon tea upstairs. You could do your shopping as you did in those days.”

Bobby’s and Co formerly occupied the property between 1915 before becoming Debenhams in 1972, which closed down in May this year.

In another link to the department store Mrs Bridle said that her grandmother got married in the church a few doors down from Bobby’s which is now the Halo nightclub.